Cindy Johnson, 34, mother of four children, was sentenced Tuesday in 6th District court to five years to life in prison for the first-degree felony murder of an elderly Salina man.
She was convicted March 4 by an eight-member jury of the Dec. 28 beating death of Dean V. Nielsen, 70. She has been held in the Sevier County Jail since the murder in lieu of posting a $500,000 bond.Johnson, who had an apartment in the same Salina complex as Nielson, became friendly with the victim and frequently visited him, according to investigating officers. He was suffering considerable pain from a crushed hip, and it was concluded that Johnson was seeking some of the prescription drugs he had been taking.
Entering the apartment, Johnson found Nielsen sitting in a recliner rocker. He was beaten repeatedly with a blunt instrument, believed to have been a baseball bat, although it was never found. An empty prescription bottle and other of Nielsen's belongings were found near Salina Creek.