Chico State murder suspect in court, new details emerge from District Attorney
Samuel Eugene Johnson, 27, the man accused of murdering 55-year-old Linda Blacksten on Chico State's campus early Tuesday morning, was arraigned at the Butte County Courthouse in Oroville on Wednesday.
Our cameras were not allowed inside the courtroom and Johnson appeared confused by the court process.
Johnson faces one count of open murder after he was arrested Tuesday in connection with the case. Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey says the incident happened around 1:40 a.m. on Tuesday when an officer was dispatched to the area near Kendall Hall after someone called to report a disturbance.
"Chico police received a call of a person that's passing through the campus that he hears loud argument between a male and a female," Ramsey says. When police arrived at the location, they say they did not hear a disturbance, but approached a man named Samuel Johnson who was walking near the area. It wasn't until 4:40 a.m. that the same officer, who was doing a routine patrol, noticed a body near an alcove around Kendall Hall.
The officer discovered what appeared to be a dead woman and treated it as a crime scene. A short time later, at around 9:00 a.m. Ramsey says officers found Johnson leaving a coffee shop in downtown Chico and detained him. He was arrested in connection to the woman's death.
"We are confident we have the guy. Mr. Johnson has specs of blood on his shoes and lower part of his trousers," Ramsey said. Ramsey added that the woman appeared to have blunt force trauma to the head and that she had been kicked several times. The relationship between Johnson and Blacksten is still unknown, and is under investigation. An autopsy is pending.
Johnson is charged with one count of murder meaning that it's undecided if he'll be charged with first degree, second degree, or a lesser charge such as manslaughter. Ramsey says if convicted of first degree murder he faces life in prison without parole.
Johnson's next court appearance is slated for Wednesday, November 7 and he'll have a court-appointed attorney representing him.
His bail was set at $1,000,000.
To read the original story, you can click here.