SALT LAKE CITY — A judge has appointed an attorney for the Utah man accused of shooting and killing a West Jordan couple he knew after allegedly robbing their home.
Judge Susan Eisenman assigned a public defender to represent Albert Enoch Johnson, 31, of West Jordan, on Friday in Salt Lake City’s 3rd District Court.
Johnson faces two charges of aggravated murder, a capital offense, in the April 18 deaths of Tony and Katherine Butterfield.
Police say the pair was found dead at their home early on April 18 after Johnson broke in and demanded money before eventually leaving with just $20 and a pair of cellphones. When he realized he left his keys in the house, he returned, charging documents say, but Tony Butterfield stabbed him to prevent him from entering the home. Johnson then fatally shot the couple, charges state.
The Butterfields’ three young children — ages 4, 2, and 6 months — were inside the home at the time but were uninjured, police said.
Johnson, sporting close-cropped hair and a yellow jail uniform, watched quietly over a video feed from the Salt Lake County Jail during Friday’s brief court hearing.
West Jordan police said Johnson fled the state and headed to Stockton, California, where he was arrested April 22.
His wife, Sina Johnson, also faces a charge of obstructing justice, a second-degree felony, after police said she cleaned blood from their home and deposited Albert Johnson’s bloodied clothes in a dumpster.
Johnson faces eight other felony charges in the shooting deaths. They are: two counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of aggravated kidnapping and one count of aggravated burglary, all first-degree felonies; obstruction of justice and two counts of possession of a firearm by a restricted person, second-degree felonies. He has not yet entered any pleas.
He is due back in court May 29.