Murder Suspect Did Time For Manslaughter

Monday, June 25th 2007, 5:00 pm
By: News On 6

We're learning more about the man police say beat his ex-girlfriend with a hammer, then set her house on fire killing her and her infant daughter over the weekend. Thirty-three year old Raymond Johnson is in the Tulsa County Jail after police say he confessed to the crime. The News On 6’s Heather Lewin reports this isn't the first time the ex-convict has been called a murderer.

He calls himself "hitman.” Police say despite a detailed confession Raymond Johnson couldn't give detectives a reason why he would burn a young mother and her baby alive.

The bodies of 24-year old Brooke Whitaker and her 7-month old daughter were found inside their burned home Saturday morning. Police say Johnson and the single, working mother of four had a history of domestic violence, and that she had tried to end the relationship. Investigators say Johnson, arrested shortly after the fire thanks to an anonymous caller, offered chilling details of the crime saying he bashed Whitaker in the head with a hammer, then got a can of gasoline. Court records say he quote, "Doused the living room and the victim’s room, where the victim's child was sleeping in her crib, lit a towel on fire and placed it on the victim who got up and started screaming and running."

"It was particularly disturbing, especially knowing that the child died as a result of the fire. I can't think of another painful way to die," said Tulsa Police Detective Victor Regalado.

Although later evidence proved he was not the father, police say at the time of the murders Johnson believed the baby was his.

"That makes it a little more, you know, disturbing, for the simple fact that an individual could leave a child, especially a child that he believed to be his, in a house that was going to be burned," Regalado said.

Johnson was released from prison just two years ago after serving half of a 20 year sentence for first degree manslaughter in Cleveland County. Police say he and the victim spent the night drinking and gambling in Oklahoma City, then got into a fight. The man was found in his still running car, dead, shot multiple times with his own gun. Put on trial for murder in that Cleveland County case, Johnson entered a guilty plea to the lesser charge of manslaughter. He now faces two counts of murder in the first degree.

Watch the video: Double Murder Suspect Confesses, Police Say

Related Stories:

6/23/2007 Police Search For Person Of Interest In Fatal House Fire

6/24/2007 Man Confesses To Double Homicide