New Details About The Woman Who Killed Her Husband’s Secretary After Suspecting An Affair

Woman Who Killed Her Husband’s Secretary Because She Thought He Was Cheating On
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Her DNA was found at the crime scene.

A woman who thought her husband was cheating on her will spent the rest of her life in prison for killing his secretary.

Marlene Johnson was found guilty of first-degree murder and first-degree burglary Wednesday for the killing of Shirley Pierce in 2013.

"Ma'am, you will die in prison, that is my order,” Judge Stuart Albright said when she sentenced Johnson to life in prison without parole.

According to WBTV, Johnson falsely believed her husband, Ervin Johnson, was having an affair with Pierce and proceeded to stab her to death in her Kannapolis home in July of 2013.

"I disagree with the decision. I am innocent. I was never there,” Johnson said after the verdict was announced. “I would not hurt anybody. I would not have killed Shirley Pierce."

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Albright quickly dismissed her claim of innocence, saying the evidence proved she was guilty.

"The DNA squarely contradicts everything that you just said,” Albright said.         


Analysts confirmed that blood on the paper towels found at the crime scene belonged to Johnson, a report from the Salisbury Post said.

Johnson has also sent threatening texts days before Pierce’s murder to a phone number that belonged to Alex Norton, who was 15 at the time.

Back off, you will not get Ervin over my dead body, you skanky wh--e,” one of the text messages read.

During the trial, forensic pathologist Dr. Clay Nichols explained to the jury that when Pierce was stabbed in the neck she was most likely in pain for three to five minutes before she lost consciousness. The murder was described as a violent, painful death, according to WBTV.

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“We know who did this. We know why she did this. We know how she did this,” Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook said Tuesday in her closing statement.

Johnson fainted as the judge announced the verdict but as deputies rushed to her aide Albright stopped them. She said Johnson needed to stand up and listen to each juror as they were polled on the guilty verdict.

Johnson had attacked Pierce before, according to the Independent Tribune. In 2011, she dragged Pierce out of a restaurant where she proceeded to punch and kick her. Johnson said it was not over and that she would come back for her. Johnson was charged with simple assault and battery.​


During the trial, Pierce’s daughter said she could never forgive Johnson for killing her mother.

"As a Christian, I'm supposed to be forgiving but I could never forgive you for what you did, and if that keeps me from going to heaven, then I'll meet you in hell,” Brown said.

"I wish you well in prison because you do not belong on the streets,” Pierce’s sister said. “You are a threat to society. The sight of you makes me sick to my stomach, knowing what you did."

Deputies and attorneys hope that the verdict will bring some healing to the victim’s family.

"We hope that this guilty verdict and resulting life sentence will provide some sense of closure for Shirley Pierce's family, friends, and loved ones," Rowan County District Attorney Brandy Cook said.

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