Six adults and two minors have been charged with felonies recently in Okla. County Dist. Court in connection with the death of a man whose body was found burning in Ada in 2015.
Authorities believe Dennis Johnson Jr., 34, Oklahoma City was killed in Oklahoma City, then his body was brought to Ada to be disposed of.
Charged in the case are, Derrick Tyrell Laday, 24, Oklahoma City; Anna Marie Cruz, 25, Oklahoma City; Aaron Tyrone Laday, 26, Oklahoma City; Teresa Marie McDonald, 24, Oklahoma City; Athony DeShawn Franklin, 24, Ada; Tionna Lynn Wilson, 20, Bethany; Eric Isaac Juarez, 17, Oklahoma City; and Jalinda L. Rex, 17, Oklahoma City.
Johnson’s body was found June 12, 2015, when a woman was driving over Sandy Creek Bridge just west of Ada at about 6:30 a.m. She noticed smoke coming from beneath the bridge and called 911.
The woman’s brother-in-law went down the embankment to check it out and discovered the smoke was emanating from a burning body. Firefighters responded to the scene and put out the fire.
Pontotoc County Sheriff John Christian called in the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to process the crime scene and assist in the investigation.
In Johnson’s autopsy report, conducted by the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office, Dr. Eric Duval said Johnson suffered a stab wound to the right upper chest which pierced his lung, a stab wound to his left back which perforated his kidney, fractured ribs on both sides of his body, a fracture to his third lumbar vertebrae, deep soft tissue hemorrhage of the upper right anterior neck and total body charring.
Derrick Laday, Cruz, Aaron Laday, and McDonald were charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to desecrate a corpse and desecration of a corpse.
Franklin, Wilson, Juarez and Rex were charged with accessory after the fact to first-degree murder, conspiracy to desecrate a corpse and desecration of a corpse.
Authorities believe Derrick Laday, Cruz, Aaron Laday, and McDonald took part in killing Johnson, while Franklin, Wilson, Juarez and Rex aided in disposing of the body.
The day that Johnson’s body was found, Oklahoma City police received a tip via a Crime Stoppers hotline with possible information on who may have been involved.
Derrick Laday, Cruz, Aaron Laday, and McDonald were later interviewed by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. All denied having knowledge of Johnson’s death, and stated they had never been to Ada. However, two people told authorities they witnessed all four arguing with Johnson at a residence in Oklahoma City June 11, according to a court affidavit filed by OSBI Special Agent Josh Dean.
“On June 24, 2015, OSBI Agent Francia Thompson executed a search warrant on (Derrick Laday’s) 2001 Chevrolet Suburban,” Dean said in the affidavit. “During the course of the search, Agent Thompson located three blood-like stains and submitted them to the OSBI Forensic Science Center for DNA testing. All three blood-like substances tested positive for blood and were a match to (Johnson’s) DNA.
According to authorities, Johnson had recently been released from prison where he served time for multiple offenses, including possession and distribution of cocaine and domestic abuse.
Christian said authories are seeking Wilson, Juarez and Rex for arrest.