Son charged with shooting S. Knox couple

By: Sara Shookman Email
By: Sara Shookman Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Authorities have released new details Monday about the deaths of South Knox County couple.

Investigators with Knox County Sheriff's Office say Tom and Sharon Johnson were shot to death at their home last week. Authorities say their son, Adam Johnson, 32, is the killer.

Johnson was out on probation for felony burglary charges he was convicted on in the fall of 2010. He'd also been convicted of shoplifting in 2002.

Now he faces nearly a dozen charges, including two first degree murder charges. He's being held on a $2 million bond.

The motive is unclear says Capt. Clyde Cowan with the Major Crimes Unit. "The only thing we have now is there was a robbery that took place during the commission of the crime, the homicides. Any prior motive to that, we don't know at this point," he said. Cowan said Johnson took his father's wallet, which is still missing, and the couple's vehicle.

Johnson had been living with his parents at their Hall Road home for several weeks. "There was no outward signs that anyone would recognize to indicate that something like that would happen," said Cowan.

Cowan say Johnson likely used the couple's own weapon to shoot his parents repeatedly. "It's the same caliber weapon that they were shot with," said Cowan, adding that ballistics results had not been returned yet.

Saturday, officers found the couple's abandoned car in Jefferson City, and went to check on them. "When officers arrived, they saw the female victim inside the residence and made entry, then found the male victim," said Cowan. The victims were found in different locations in the home. "There were no signs that there was any kind of major struggle or anything."

Former neighbor Karen Williamson Bass says she and the Johnsons became close friends while they lived next door to each other in Rockford for nine years.

"I wasn't surprised that Adam might have been responsible, that will be for the law to figure out," she said.

Bass says the Johnsons loved both their sons, Brad and Adam. "Adam, I think depended on his parents. That's what so difficult about this. That's what's so hard to understand. I don't think any of us understand.

Bass says the Johnsons were special friends to the neighbors. "I feel as though I've been robbed of something very special with their loss," she said. "They were decent, good, hardworking people. They just didn't, they didn't deserve this. They did not."

Officers don't believe the couple were worried about their safety. "Not any more than would be normal with his prior criminal history, I don't think. They allowed him to come back to the house, allowed him to stay there. As far we know they didn't have any kind of major concerns about him being there," said Cowan.

For now investigators are continuing to look in Johnson's background.

Other counties are filing charges against Johnson stemming from his attempt to flee the crime. A spokesperson for Hamblen County Sheriff's Office says Johnson is charged with aggrevated armed robbery.

In Hawkins County where Johnson was located, he faces theft of property over $1,000, felony wreckless endangerment, possession of a handgun in felony and possession of a hand gun by a convicted felon.

A preliminary hearing is set for March 15.


KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Knox County Sheriff's Office has arrested 32-year-old Adam Thomas Johnson in the murder of his parents.

Police say 58-year-old Tom Johnson and his 59-year-old wife Sharon were found dead in their home in the 7900 block of Hall Road around 10:30 Saturday morning.

Adam Johnson is charged with 2 counts of first degree murder. He is being held in the Knox County Detention Facility under a $2 million bond.

Johnson is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

A preliminary hearing is set for March 15.

Previous Story

KNOX COUNTY, Tenn. (WVLT) -The Knox County Sheriff's Office is investigating a double homicide in South Knox County.

Police say 58-year-old Tom Johnson and his 59-year-old wife Sharon were found dead in their home in the 7900 block of Hall Road around 10:30 Saturday morning.

Investigators say deputies were conducting a welfare check on the couple after their car was found in Jefferson County.

Volunteer TV News has learned the car was found in Jefferson City and no one was with the car at the time.

Authorities in Jefferson City alerted Knox County authorities.

Police have not released details on how the couple was killed.

If you have information about the case, you are asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 215-2243.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Tina on Mar 8, 2011 at 11:45 PM
    I grew up with sharon and sold home interior with her for many years and also new tommy and adam and Brad and they were just wonderful christians and was always nice to everone they came in comtact with and we will deeply miss them both and are praying for brad his family and the rest of the kelley and johnson families
  • by Debbie May Location: Knoxville on Mar 6, 2011 at 09:29 AM
    To the loved ones of this couple: I am so very sorry for your loss. From what I have heard about them in the last 24 hours, they seem to have been wonderful people. God be with them and you. TO VOLUNTEERTV.COM: I would think you could come up with a more appropiate picture to go with a headline such as this. Why not try being a little on the sensitive side and think of the friends and families going through something as horrible as this. If it were my family or friend that passed in such a terrible way, or any way for that matter, I would not appreciate seeing a pictire of an outlined dead body laying on the pavement. Just my opinion. (that probably wont be posted)
  • by Lynn Location: Charleston, WV on Mar 5, 2011 at 05:16 PM
    So hard to beleive this could happen to such a good couple. You will be sadly missed on Campbells Creek!


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