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Handgun misfires, and sentence is suspended
Woman gets suspended sentence for trying to shoot boyfriend

Date published: 5/24/2011

BY KEITH EPPS

A Stafford County woman who tried to shoot her boyfriend after he threatened to tell her husband about their relationship got a suspended sentence yesterday.

Safiyyah Wahgedah Johnson, 32, was convicted in Stafford Circuit Court to attempted murder. Two other charges--brandishing a firearm and using a firearm in the commission of a felony--were dropped.

Johnson was sentenced to five years in prison, with all of it suspended.

Defense attorney Eugene Frost said that although Johnson took the attempted murder conviction, she never tried to kill the victim and only wanted to scare him.

Frost said she took the plea because she didn't want to risk a jury trial.

According to the evidence presented by prosecutor Michael Hardiman, Johnson and the victim began an affair while her military husband was deployed overseas.

On the morning of April 17, 2010, Hardiman said, the two got into an argument in the area of Northampton Boulevard in North Stafford.

Police at the time said Johnson was ending the affair because her husband was due back soon.

The victim responded by threatening to call Johnson's husband and tell him what had been going on.

He reached into her purse and got her cell phone, and she pulled out a gun and chased the man around the neighborhood.

Witnesses said she tried to shoot three times, but the gun misfired each time. One witness was a Fairfax detective.

Hardiman said Johnson was using .25-caliber bullets in a .380-caliber weapon, likely the reason the gun didn't fire.

Johnson walked back to her home on Yorkshire Street after the brief chase, and police confronted her a short time later and took her into custody.

She spent some time in the Rappahannock Regional Jail before being released on bond.

Hardiman said the victim did not want Johnson to go to prison.

Frost said Johnson is trying to work things out with her husband. The couple has four children and has been married for 12 years.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404
Email: kepps@freelancestar.com