Charge against husband in Norfolk murder-for-hire plot certified to grand jury

Posted at 3:14 PM, Nov 05, 2015

Norfolk, Va. - Charges against a man accused of plotting to kill his pregnant wife were certified to a grand jury during a preliminary hearing on Thursday.

Police say Tony Johnson hired three men back in August to murder his 19-year-old wife, Elizabeth, for her life insurance policy while she was pregnant with their child.

He was charged with Conspiracy to Commit Murder.

Elizabeth Johnson survived the murder attempt. She is now healthy and has had her baby, who is also healthy.

The three men -- Joseph Apodaca, 21; Robert James Burnette, 18;  and Tristan Reeder, 21; were all charged with two counts of Conspiracy, with Burnette and Reeder each additionally receiving one count of Malicious Wounding.

All three were previously indicted.

Apodaca testified in court on Thursday that Johnson's wife had a life insurance policy worth several hundred thousand dollars and the four of them fantasized about what it would be like to have that much money.

Apodaca says Johnson had been pressuring them to kill his wife and to make it look like a break-in. But when it came down to the day, Apodaca backed out.

He told the judge Reeder and Burnette broke into Johnson's Norfolk apartment and tried to break Elizabeth's neck while she was asleep.

Elizabeth has maintained that her husband is innocent, instead believing that the other three men set her husband up.

Tony Johnson spoke from jail after his arrest, saying that he loves his wife.

"I'm completely innocent," he said.


Man accused of plotting pregnant wife’s murder says he’s innocent