Ex-Texas A&M WR Johnson sentenced to life in prison

Former Texas A&M wide receiver Thomas Johnson was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison, a day after a jury found him guilty of murder.

Jurors in Dallas County, Texas, began their deliberations Wednesday morning and reached a decision before noon. On Tuesday, it took them just 15 minutes to find Johnson guilty of killing a random stranger, 53-year-old David Stevens of Dallas, with a machete.

The trial for Johnson, 25, began Monday, and his defense attorney called no witnesses.

Stevens was killed Oct. 12, 2015, and Johnson confessed the crime to a 911 operator shortly after it occurred. Johnson was said to have been upset about his housing situation. Stevens’ wife Patti committed suicide shortly after her husband was murdered.

The following year, Johnson was ruled unfit to stand trial and admitted to North Texas State Hospital. He was found competent for trial in 2018.

Johnson, who played high school football in Dallas, was a five-star recruit, the No. 3 wide receiver and the No. 33 overall prospect in the Class of 2012, according to the 247Sports composite.

He played just his freshman season for the Aggies, appearing in 10 games and catching 30 passes for 339 yards and a touchdown. He vanished from campus late in the season, eventually was found at his family’s home, and sat out the 2013 season before seeking reinstatement to the team. He never played again for the Aggies.