Prosecutor: Don’t parole murderer

By Tim Yovich

A woman says she was the target of murder, but her parents were shot instead by her former husband.

WARREN — Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins isn’t mincing any words in asking that John Frederick Johnson’s parole request be denied because he’s a “cold-blooded psychopath.”

Johnson, 52, is serving 20 years to life in prison for the July 17, 1980, murder of Wyoma Teutsch and attempted murder of her husband, Robert Teutsch, at their Grand Boulevard home in Newton Falls.

Johnson’s parole hearing will be either Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday at the Grafton Correctional Institution where he is incarcerated.

Watkins, who prosecuted Johnson, wrote in a June 13 letter to the Ohio Adult Parole Authority that Johnson has shown no remorse for the shootings, his former wife fears for her life, and because an apparent murder he committed in Canada “only galvanized the real risk involved with letting this man out of prison.”

After the shootings of the Teutsches, Watkins wrote, Johnson fled this country to Langley, British Columbia, where he took on a new identity and is accused of shooting and killing William Sederquest there in 1981.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has an active murder warrant for Johnson, who was returned here in 1982 after being captured in Tucson, Ariz.

Watkins pointed out that according to Canadian authorities, one of the witnesses to the Sederquest murder has died.

“It is now 27 years later, which makes a successful prosecution in British Columbia quite iffy. Therefore, don’t release Johnson on the premise that he will be successfully prosecuted there,” the prosecutor wrote.

“There’s a good likelihood that won’t happen and he would return to Ohio to live and possibly seek revenge,” Watkins added.

He pointed out that Johnson’s former wife, Terri Schneider, who is the daughter of the Teutsches, has been in contact with the prosecutor’s Victim’s Witness Division. She still fears for her life and those of her grown children.

Johnson had written a letter to his parents stating, “I’m not sorry for what I done. I’m glad I did it.”

In that letter, he tells his parents that the Teutsches told him that he wouldn’t be seeing his daughters, Carrie and Teresa, any more because the Teutsches were going to take custody of them.

“I couldn’t stand by and watch that happen. I love them [his daughters] too much and I had to do that,” Johnson wrote.

In a statement given to a Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office investigator the day of Teutsch shootings, Schneider, whose last name then was Drass, said Johnson always blamed her mother and father for interfering with their marriage and had threatened numerous times to kill them.

While separated from Johnson, Schneider told the investigator that Johnson called her parents and threatened to kill them.

During a phone interview, Schneider, who has long since left this area, said she didn’t use drugs or run around on Johnson.

Her parents had temporary custody of the two girls and wanted permanent custody so the girls could be covered by her parents’ health insurance. Schneider was living with her parents at the time, and Johnson never wanted to understand the reason for custody by the Teutsches.

Schneider, 49, has since remarried and has three more children, but she remains frightened of Johnson.

“You leave me, I’ll kill the children; I’ll kill you,” she said Johnson told her. Because she was living with her parents at the time of the shootings, Schneider believes she was the target but wasn’t home at the time.

Her father remarried and died of a heart attack in 1994.

Schneider said her former husband is a self-centered, violent man who made his money selling marijuana. It was because of the drug dealing and her physical abuse — she says she remains scarred — that she divorced Johnson.

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