Supposed criminal justice reform activist Sheldon Johnson pleaded not guilty to murder charge

 April 6, 2024

A convicted felon who professed to have changed his ways after 25 years in prison may soon be headed back behind bars if convicted on a new murder charge.

Sheldon Johnson, 48, now a criminal justice reform activist who was recently photographed shaking hands and smiling with Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, pleaded not guilty to the murder charge during a Tuesday hearing in a Bronx courtroom, Fox News reported.

Johnson is accused of killing and dismembering Collin Small, 44, a suspected rival who served time in the same prison facility as Johnson, and storing the separate body parts in a freezer and plastic bin in the victim's apartment. He is currently being held in custody without bail.

Wrote a letter to DA Bragg and met with the prosecutor

Johnson was reportedly just released from prison last year after serving 25 years of a 50-year sentence for a series of armed robberies plus attempted murder.

In 2022, before he was released, Johnson penned a now-published letter from prison to DA Bragg. In that letter, he appeared to renounce his prior violent lifestyle and gang affiliation, cast blame for his lengthy incarceration on his attorney and "systemic racism" and other "inequalities," and asked for assistance in securing his release so that he could advocate for justice system reforms and advise youths against joining gangs or engaging in criminal activity.

At some unspecified point following his release, Johnson was photographed shaking hands with DA Bragg while promoting the Queens Defenders activist group he was employed by as a youth counselor.

Interestingly enough, just one month before he was arrested as a murder suspect, Johnson appeared on Joe Rogan's podcast and similarly recounted his supposedly changed ways and new role as a reform activist while glossing over his violent criminal past.

Accused of murdering and dismembering a suspected rival from prison

The New York Post reported on March 7 that Johnson was arrested and charged with Small's murder following the discovery of ample evidence that linked him to the grisly scene in Small's apartment.

On the night of the murder just a few days earlier, neighbors reportedly heard the victim pleading for his life before being silenced by two gunshots. Police were later called to conduct a wellness check on Small and investigators even spoke briefly with Johnson outside the apartment, but did not arrest him at that time.

However, the building's superintendent suspected something was amiss, especially after surveillance camera footage and witnesses revealed that Johnson came and went from the apartment several times immediately after the murder, usually wearing different clothes and even a blonde wig while also carrying a bag of cleaning supplies, a mop, and a large plastic bin.

Police investigated the apartment again and found Small's headless torso and other severed body parts in the bin while the victim's head and other parts were discovered in the freezer, at which point Johnson was arrested and charged.

No comment from activist group, DA's office

Fox News reported that Johnson remained silent throughout his Tuesday court hearing except to enter his plea of not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder.

The activist organization he worked for after his release from prison, the Queens Defenders, declined to respond to a request for comment about Johnson's arrest and murder charge.

Likewise, the Manhattan District Attorney's Office failed to respond to a request for comment about DA Bragg's photographed meeting with Johnson at some point within the past year.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.