Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Fatal Christmas day shooting- Two arrested


December 29, 2020

NORTHERN TOWNSHIP, BELTRAMI COUNTY, MN: On Saturday, December 26, 2020, at approximately 12:11 AM, the Beltrami County Dispatch center received a call from an adult female, identified as Janelle L. Johnson, age 36, of Bemidji reporting that approximately 1 hour earlier, she and her husband, Austin L. Johnson, age 36, of Bemidji, had traveled to their brother-in-laws residence, located in the 5000 block of Lavinia Rd NE, in Northern Township, Bemidji, to confront him over some alleged domestic abuse incident(s) between he and Janelle's sister. A verbal argument ensued, that then became physical, where at that point it is alleged that Janelle Johnson brandished a firearm that Austin Johnson had brought with him to the residence, and shot her brother-in-law, Jesse A. Farris, age 48. They then left the residence and later reported the incident to law enforcement.

Deputies responded to the residence, in the 5000 block of Lavinia Rd NE and located Farris deceased outside the residence.

The results of a preliminary autopsy completed by the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that the cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds.

Janelle Johnson is currently being held in the Beltrami County Jail under a charge of 2nd Degree Murder. Austin Johnson is currently being held in the Beltrami County Jail under a charge of Aiding an Offender.

Both are expected to be arraigned in Beltrami County District Court on Tuesday, December 29, 2020.

The investigation is on-going and no further information can be released.

The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office was assisted by the Bemidji Police Department, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigative unit and Crime Scene Team.

Sheriff Ernie Beitel

Beltrami County Sheriff's Office


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