Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hit man plot gets Brooksville husband prison

BROOKSVILLE — A 52-year-old Brooksville man who allegedly hatched a plan to kill his wife's boss by hiring a hit man received 50 months in prison and five years' probation Thursday under a plea deal with prosecutors.

Lonnie Johnson pleaded no contest to felony counts of solicitation to commit armed robbery and solicitation to commit aggravated battery as well as three unrelated drug charges.

The sentence is far less than what Johnson initially faced after his arrest on charges of conspiracy to commit murder and criminal solicitation to commit murder.

But prosecutors said questions about Johnson's true intent and a victim who didn't want to testify forced them to make a deal.

"It was unclear as to whether he was trying to hire the undercover detective to beat up the guy real bad or to kill him," said Assistant State Attorney Don Barbee.

The bizarre lovers' quarrel began last summer after Johnson became convinced his wife, Edna Johnson, was cheating on him with her boss, Maurice Carter. The two were close friends but Carter said he is gay and has dated a male partner for four years.

Lonnie Johnson didn't stop, though. In July, he went to confront his wife at the Joy-Lan Drive-in movie theater in Dade City where she works and where he did part-time work for Carter.

Johnson drove through a metal gate at the theater before Carter called police who issued a trespass warning. Johnson wanted to hurt Carter because "he is from Florida and doesn't like homosexuals," according to an arrest warrant.

Carter told the Times things escalated when Johnson called to say "him and his buddy were going man-hunting to kill me."

Johnson's plan was to have a hit man take Carter's car keys and the theater's cash box to make it look like a robbery. He told his plan to an acquaintance who then called the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

The acquaintance helped set up a meeting with Johnson and a would-be hit man, who was an undercover detective. During the taped discussion, Johnson laid out a plan and was arrested on the spot.

John Frank can be reached at or (352)754-6114.

Hit man plot gets Brooksville husband prison 03/06/08 [Last modified: Thursday, March 6, 2008 8:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh


    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. Trump reveals that he didn't record Comey after all


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Thursday he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI director James Comey, ending a monthlong guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy.

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that he didn’t record his conversations with James Comey.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case


    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  5. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.