Columbia man sentenced to life

Johnson was given life with possibility of parole for first-degree sodomy.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 6:39 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008

A 25-year-old Columbia man convicted of sexually assaulting a neighbor at knife point was sentenced to life in prison Monday.

Boone County Circuit Judge Gary Oxenhandler sentenced Tywan Johnson, 25, to life in prison with the possibility for parole for first-degree sodomy. He also received concurrent sentences of 15 years for armed criminal action and five years for resisting arrest.

Johnson was arrested on April 21, 2006 on suspicion of assaulting a 25-year-old MU graduate student in the East Park Lane Sunrise Estates apartment complex, the Missourian reported in April. The victim told Boone County Sheriff’s detectives that Johnson threatened her with a knife, forcing her into his apartment as she was leaving for work. A struggle ensued, and the victim told detectives she was cut with Johnson’s knife before she was physically and sexually assaulted.

The victim said she eventually convinced Johnson to let her go, and she drove herself to the emergency room.

When two sheriff’s deputies found Johnson at his place of work, he ran and received minor injuries after being physically restrained. He was later taken to University Hospital. As Johnson was escorted by a deputy out of the hospital that evening, he escaped near the hospital parking garage. He was caught later that night after being subdued by a deputy with a stun gun.

At Monday’s hearing, Boone County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Hicks said the Sentencing Advisory Report, a report prepared by the Missouri Department of Corrections, showed that Johnson was anti-social, defiant and had no respect for women.

Hicks told Oxenhandler he would “not lose any sleep if he (Johnson) was not released.”

If Johnson is paroled, he must wear a Global Positioning System tracker at all times, Hicks said.

Coles asked Oxenhandler for a new trial and said he would appeal the sentence within the next ten days.

“It was a pretty horrific crime against a young lady who was just trying to live here, go to school and work here in Columbia,” Hicks said.

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