A woman has told investigators she lied when she said her estranged husband killed a Broward sheriff's deputy in 1990.
Gwenda Johnson, whose statements instigated a 10-month, $250,000 investigation of her husband Andrew Johnson, recanted her story in a 90-minute interview released Tuesday by the Broward County Sheriff's Office.
The woman gave detailed statements earlier to an informer and investigators, saying she went with her husband to discard the dismantled revolver used in the killing of Deputy Patrick Behan.
Two mentally disabled teenagers were convicted in his killing. Timothy Brown is serving a life sentence and is trying to get free based on four incriminating statements made by Andrew Johnson to undercover agents.
During the investigation, Andrew Johnson described details of the killing and told undercover agents he intended to kill a different deputy, Brian Montgomery, for getting him fired from his job at the Broward County jail.
Behan was seated inside his parked patrol car at a Pembroke Park convenience store when his killer shot him point-blank through an open window. Behan had swapped shifts with Montgomery that night.
Sheriff Ken Jenne said this month that the investigation did not produce enough evidence to charge the former jail guard. He was fired for repeatedly showing up at trouble calls as if he were a road patrol deputy.
On March 13, a few days after the Broward Sheriff's Office released statements by the Johnsons about the killing, Gwenda Johnson said in a videotaped statement that she fabricated the story to get back at her estranged husband.
"He's real bad to me, real bad," she said. "He had seven or eight affairs on me . . . and I wanted him to look bad to people."
She said the details came from a book she wrote and has since lost. She said her husband's statements had many of the same details because he read the book.
Gwenda Johnson's recantation is "pretty laughable," Timothy Brown's attorney Brenda Bryn said Wednesday. "As far as I'm concerned the judge can consider all of Gwenda's testimony together and judge her credibility. I think it helps our case."