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Rebecca Johnson gets life without parole for grandmother's death

Published On: Dec 24 2013 06:52:55 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 05 2013 10:58:25 PM EST

Johnson Suero Sentencings


Tears, and remorse.

A judge says she saw neither from a woman convicted of planning a robbery that led to the death of her own grandmother.

Thursday was sentencing day for Rebecca Johnson and her former boyfriend, Rogel Suero.


The judge called Johnson the mastermind behind the crime and even though Rogel Suero still proclaims his innocence the judge says he was a willing participant.

Tears from the victim's family flowed as a judge read the sentence of life without the possibility of parole for 29-year-old Rebecca Johnson and 31-year-old Rogel Suero.

"Life sentence is absolutely appropriate for each of them in this case," said Northampton county Assistant District Attorney, Patricia Mulqueen. "It's really one of the most horrific types of crimes that anyone could commit.”

Prosecutors say Johnson was the mastermind of a plan to rob her grandmother, Carrie Smith, in January 2012.

Court documents show Suero and an accomplice held a gun to Smith's head and demanded she open the safe in her Wilson borough home.

That night Carrie Smith suffered a heart attack, she died two months later.

Suero has maintained his innocence.

"We're going to appeal the decision," said family member of Rogel Suero, David Zaher. "If it takes from here all the way to the Supreme court, even to the president of the United States.”

"The jury clearly didn't believe the defendant's version of events that he wasn't involved in this,” added Mulqueen.

Emotions were high in the courtroom, Carrie Smith's family allowed the prosecution to read statements before the sentencing.

Denise Smith, Carrie's daughter-in-law said, "She died with a broken heart, knowing that you orchestrated this heinous act against her."

Then the words of Rebecca Johnson's mother, and daughter of Carrie Smith recalling the last words Smith told her before she died.

She said, "make sure Becky and the others pay for what they did to me."

Even after hearing the statements, Rebecca Johnson sat emotionless in the courtroom, which led Northampton county judge, Paula Roscioli, to say, "I have never seen someone so cold in this courtroom. You have not shed one tear."

There's no word on if Rebecca Johnson plans to appeal her case.

The prosecution also told the judge they are searching for another suspect in connection with this crime.