A St. Paul man pleaded guilty Friday to premeditated first-degree murder and was immediately sentenced to life in prison, news sources reported.
Steven Roger Johnson, 35, admitted he killed his wife, Manya Jewel Johnson on Jan. 6 after she told him she was leaving him and taking their 18-month year old son, reported the Pioneer Press.
The couple argued earlier that day because Manya Johnson, 32, found a bottle of vodka in the car and did not like her husband drinking, reported the StarTribune.
Between 6 and 7p.m. the couple argued and Mayna Johnson told her husband he wouldn't get custody of their son. That's when Johnson went to retrieve a gun he had stolen from his wife's father over Christmas, reported the StarTribune.
Johnson fired the gun once, shooing his wife in the left temple, reported the Pioneer Press.
"She fell to the floor. I rushed to her side," Johnson told the Pioneer Press. "I took some towels. My son was crying in the bedroom - he heard the shot."
Johnson admitted that he began a series of cover-ups: He called his mother-in-law, dismembered his wife, cleaned up afterward and drove his wife's car to a park-and-ride lot so it would look like she had gone to work Monday morning, reported the StarTribune.
As part of the plea agreement, a second-degree murder charge was dismiss and the state agreed not to oppose any attempts Johnson could make for early release after serving 30 years in prioson, reported the StarTribune.
"There is nothing I can say to make this better," Johnson said to the StarTribune. "Saying sorry is not enough; it will never be enough. I will live with this regret for the rest of my life."