Mother accused of fatally stabbing son, then herself, deputies say

11-year-old Bruce Johnson Jr.
11-year-old Bruce Johnson Jr.(Picasa | Provided by Lea County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Jul. 13, 2022 at 1:38 PM CDT
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HOBBS, New Mexico (KXII/KCBD/Gray News) – A mother who had recently relocated from Kingston, Oklahoma, to New Mexico is accused of stabbing herself after stabbing her 11-year-old son to death.

Bruce Johnson, Sr. told deputies he was asleep when he heard his son screaming, KCBD reports. He found his son in his room, lying on the bed alive with stab wounds.

He went to call 911 when he found Mary Johnson, 49, also stabbed and unconscious in another room.

According to the Lea County Sheriff’s Office, deputies found Bruce Johnson Jr., 11, and his mother, both with multiple stab wounds.

The boy told deputies his mom stabbed him and then herself.

The child was taken to a hospital in Hobbs where was pronounced dead a few hours later. His body was sent to the Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque for an autopsy, which confirmed he had been stabbed multiple times.

Investigators have issued an arrest warrant for the boy’s mother, who is in a Lubbock hospital with critical injuries.

Lea County investigators say Bruce Johnson, Sr. had moved to Hobbs with his son from Oklahoma and left Mary Johnson behind after allegations that she was abusing his son.

He told investigators he was planning to file for divorce because of the abuse and that Mary Johnson was often violent with him.

According to the Lea County Sheriff’s Office in New Mexico, they never received any reports of abuse or neglect since the Johnsons moved to the state, but they knew at least two incidents were reported in Oklahoma.

The Marshall County Sheriff’s office confirmed this but said when deputies went to check on the family, she didn’t meet the criteria to be taken into custody involuntarily.

Sheriff Donald Yow said for that to happen, someone must be currently showing signs of being a danger to themselves or others.

Oklahoma DHS told News 12 they can’t release any records of the Johnsons since the child died in a different state.

Marshall county resident Erick Wyatt told News 12 his daughter went to school with Bruce Junior in Kingston.

He said the whole community noticed Mary’s odd behavior.

“Some of her comments talking about she’s Mary Jesus and just different things, talking about hurting other people,” Wyatt said.

More people saw Mary’s posts after tornados hit Kingston in March, when she commented and posted on her Facebook claiming the severe weather was God’s wrath.

“She got a lot worse right after the tornado. but I mean she had been doing this for two months before the tornado,” Wyatt said. “This is something that had been going on probably since November or December of the previous year. And it kept on escalating more and more.”

In a bizarre Facebook post last month, Mary made reference to “stabbing a partner’s heart… then yourself.”

This weekend, Oklahoma launched a mental health crisis line. By dialing 988, someone in crisis can speak to a mental health professional and get connected with any services they might need.

Yow said it’s hard to know if the 988 number would have changed anything about this death.

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