Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Johnny Maurice Bell Sentenced To 16 Years In Prison For Brutally Murdering His Girl Friend Brittany Nichols In Ogden, Utah
Some semblance of justice occurred in Ogden, Utah on September 8th, 2009 when Johnny Maurice Bell Jr. was sentenced to a term of 16 years to life for brutally butchering his girl friend, Brittany Nichols. Media stories from the Ogden Standard-Examiner, the Salt Lake Tribune, the Deseret News, and KSL Channel 5. Previous post on this case published on January 5th, 2009.
On January 4th, 2009, when Brittany Nichols told Bell that their relationship was over, Bell chimped out and stabbed Nichols more than 16 times with five different knives. The crime was committed with such barbaric ferocity that three kitchen knives had their blades broken off and a bread knife had its blade bent into an S-shape. Only the utility knife with a razor-type blade was still functional after the crime. The sheer ferocity of the crime reminds me of the way Lemaricus Davidson raped, assaulted, and murdered Channon Christian as well as the way O.J. Simpson "allegedly" butchered Nicole Simpson.
Bell was caught when he took a Greyhound bus to his home state of California; he was arrested in Millard County after Utah Highway Patrol troopers intercepted the bus. Ultimately, Bell pleaded guilty to first-degree felony murder on August 25th. Prosecutors dismissed a charge of domestic violence in the presence of a child. Second District Court Judge Scott Hadley sentenced Bell to 15-years-to-life for murder, a first-degree felony, and added another year to the term because a dangerous weapon was used while committing the crime. The judge also imposed a $10,000 fine and gave Bell no credit for the time served in jail awaiting the outcome of the case. KSL video embedded below:
In court, Bell maintained that he just "snapped" when Brittany told him she was breaking up with him, trying to portray it as a spontaneous crime of passion. But Deputy Weber County Attorney Sandra Corp pointed to evidence showing that Bell may have contemplated the homicide ahead of time, including text messages to a friend asking if she would support him if he robbed a bank or killed someone. Corp also noted that Bell had numerous opportunities to change his mind in the midst of the murder, citing the fact that he kept breaking knives. Furthermore, Bell immediately left the apartment afterwards, leaving a little three-year-old girl to fend for herself. Nichols' parents now have custody of the child.
Thus when Bell issued a rather lame apology in court, Brittany Nichols' father, John Nichols, promptly told him where to stick the apology. "We didn't want to hear it," Nichols said after the hearing. "You don't do this to people you love." Nichols also said he was frustrated that the case was not deemed worthy of an aggravated-murder charge, which could have landed Bell on death row or behind bars for life without the possibility of parole.
Because none of the current batch of media stories identified Bell as black (except KSL) and Nichols as white, race has not entered into public reaction posted as comments to the various stories as it did last time. But most people think Bell got off with a wrist slap; many believe he should have been executed. It's bad enough that he sliced up Brittany Nichols as if he was butchering a steer, but then to walk off and leave a three-year-old girl all alone - that shows complete and callous disregard for human welfare. Bell is a psychopath who should be permanently removed from human existence.