Ruben Johnson was sentenced to death by the State of Arizona for the murder of a witness. According to court documents Ruben Johnson and Jarvis Ross would rob a massage parlor. Jarvis Ross would be arrested due to a witness at the scene. Ruben Johnson would go to the witness home where he would shoot and kill her. Ruben Johnson would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.
Ruben Johnson 2021 Information
ASPC Eyman, Browning Unit
PO Box 3400
RUBEN M. JOHNSON 182171
Florence, AZ 85132
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On December 22, 2003, Ruben M. Johnson was sentenced to the following: Maricopa County CR2001-001604 CT 1 First Degree Murder of Stephanie Smith Committed on November 15, 2000. Sentenced to Death. On November 15, 2000, Ruben N. Johnson shot and killed Stephanie Smith to prevent her from testifying against Jarvis Ross, the co-defendant count IV. Stephanie Smith was shot and killed in her home in front of her four year old son while her other children were asleep in the home. Maricopa County CR2001-001604 Count 2 Assisting a Criminal Syndicate/Criminal Street Gang, sentenced to 17 years On November 15, 2000, Ruben M. Johnson shot and killed Stephanie Smith, acting as a member of the Lindo Park Crips Maricopa County CR2001-001604 Count 3 First Degree Burglary, sentenced to 24 years On November 15, 2000, Ruben M. Johnson acting as a member of the Lindo Park Crips entered the home of Stephanie Smith illegally. Count 4, Armed Robbery On November 7, 2000, Ruben M. Johnson along with co-defendant Jarvis Ross robbed the Affordable Massage Parlor using weapons to threaten Stephanie Smith and Russell Biondo, occupants of the business
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On November 7, 2000, Ruben Johnson and Jarvis Ross, both members of the Lindo Park Crips Gang (the LPC), committed a robbery at the Affordable Massage business in Phoenix. They committed the robbery at the behest of Johnson’s friend, Cheryl Newberry. Newberry drove Johnson and Ross to the Affordable Massage location. Johnson and Ross then entered the massage parlor through a back door and confronted Stephanie Smith and Russell Biondo. Johnson and Ross stole Biondo’s wallet and pager and Smith’s cell phone and left the massage parlor separately. Johnson escaped, but police officers captured Ross after a short chase. Smith and Biondo both identified Ross as one of the robbers.
¶ 3 Soon after the robbery, Johnson learned from his friend Phyllis Hansen, a clerk at the Maryvale Justice Court, that Ross’s preliminary hearing was scheduled for November 15, 2000, and that the victims were going to testify at the preliminary hearing. Newberry later testified that Johnson and two other men came to her home in an SUV and made her reveal the location of Stephanie Smith’s residence.
¶ 4 Johnson and Quindell Carter, a fellow gang member, arrived at Smith’s home shortly after one o’clock on the morning of November 15, 2000. Smith was in a bedroom reading a story to her four-year-old son, Jordan. Leonard Justice and Mike Solo were also at her home visiting. Solo heard a dog barking behind the house and went into the backyard to investigate. When he got outside, a black male put a gun to Solo’s head, threatened to kill him, and asked who else was in the house. The gunman first pushed Solo into the house through the back sliding glass door and then told him to leave the house. Solo hurried to his car and drove away. Leonard Justice looked out the back window of the house, saw what was happening, and called 9-1-1 on his cell phone. He then went into Jordan’s bedroom and handed Smith the phone so she could give the dispatcher the address. After handing the phone back to Justice, Smith left the bedroom. Justice followed her, and they both saw Johnson come through the arcadia door. Justice then ran into the bathroom, while Smith ran into Jordan’s bedroom. Johnson walked into Jordan’s bedroom and shot Smith in the head, killing her. Arriving officers apprehended Quindell Carter after a short chase, but Johnson evaded the officers.
¶ 5 Two days later, Johnson visited Phyllis Hansen at her home. Hansen testified that Johnson showed her a newspaper article about the murder and told her that he was the unnamed suspect mentioned in the story. Hansen also testified that Johnson stated he killed Smith because Smith was going to testify against “his cuz or one of his homies.” Hansen later went to the police and turned over papers Johnson had left at her home. One of those papers had Johnson’s fingerprint on it and contained Russell Biondo’s name and date of birth written in Johnson’s handwriting.