DEARBORN — On Monday, Diabolique Paris Johnson, 35, of Indianapolis, pleaded guilty to charges of second degree murder, felony firearm and armed robbery for a string of crimes he committed in Dearborn and Detroit in 2020.
Due to the nature of the crimes and the victims involved, state and Wayne County officials alleged the man had targeted the LGBTQ+ community.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced the charges in conjunction with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and the Fair Michigan Justice Project (FMJP). The FMJP is is a program that assists Michigan police officers and prosecutors in solving serious crimes against lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender persons.
Authorities say that on Sept. 1, 2020, Johnson committed an armed robbery of a 26-year-old Detroit man at the Red Roof Inn on Michigan Avenue in Dearborn.
Johnson is alleged to have taken the man’s personal property during the robbery.
Then, a few days later, Johnson murdered a 39-year-old Detroit man, during an armed robbery in the 16800 block of Woodbine in Detroit.
Prosecutors said that the victims in both cases were targeted on online dating apps because they were members of the LGBTQ community.
Johnson was charged with one count of armed robbery on Sept. 21, 2020 for the Dearborn crime, but was not yet in custody.
Dearborn, Detroit and Indianapolis police conducted an investigation between the time of the incidents until December, which finally led to Johnson’s arrest in Indianapolis and his extradition to Michigan.
Johnson was first charged with felony murder in March of last year. That charge has now been dismissed, with Johnson pleading guilty and agreeing to a sentence of 25 to 45 years for second degree murder and two years to be served consecutively for felony firearm for the Detroit incident.
For the Dearborn incident, Johnson pleaded guilty as charged to armed robbery, with a sentence agreement of 15 to 30 years.
He entered the pleas before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Kevin Cox Monday afternoon.
Nessel’s office has a Hate Crimes Unit, which investigates and prosecutes cases in instances where victims are targeted based on race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation and gender identity.
As part of that initiative, Nessel has offered county prosecutors across the state assistance with their hate crimes prosecutions. The Johnson cases represent the first joint operations between Nessel and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy in that effort.