Suspect in pregnant teacher's death appears in court - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Suspect in pregnant teacher's death appears in court

By Ben Watson - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Tarence Nelson, charged with two counts of first degree murder for the death of Tonya Johnson and her unborn child, walked into court Tuesday morning wearing jail clothes and a long face.

Johnson, a teacher for Memphis City Schools, was very close to delivering her child when she was murdered last month.  It was neighbor John Ingram who discovered Johnson's body inside her Arlington home.

Ingram said he became suspicious when her garage door was left open, and he went inside her house to check on her.

"There was a bullet wound in the side of her stomach," he said. "One in her chest. One looked to be in the back of her head."

Several days later, deputies arrested Nelson, 26, in Murfreesboro, and charged him with murder.  Police believe Johnson and Nelson were in a relationship, and are investigating reports that Nelson wanted Johnson to have an abortion.

Members of Johnson's family were at court Tuesday morning, but declined to comment on the case.

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