Early in the morning on Saturday, Corrections Officer Mari Johnson was found unresponsive in the kitchen of the Robertson Unit prison in Abilene, Texas. The 55-year-old was taken to the hospital where she was declared dead.
No suspect has been named, but Johnson’s death is being investigated as a homicide. According to People, Robertson Unit is an all-male facility holding about 3,000 inmates whose crimes range from aggravated robbery and burglary to sexual assault of a minor.
Texas governor Greg Abbott released a statement on Johnson’s death on Twitter:
The Texas Department also released statements, saying:
“Correctional officers have one of the most difficult jobs in all of state government protecting the public from dangerous individuals,” said Brad Livingston, Executive Director of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. “Each day thousands of men and women in gray are carrying out that critical mission. This is a tragic reminder that carrying out that mission can lead to the ultimate sacrifice. Ms. Johnson made the ultimate sacrifice to keep this state safe. She will never be forgotten. We will see that the offender who committed this cowardly act is held accountable.”
“In times like these, it’s difficult to put into words the loss felt by the department when a correctional officer dies in the line of duty,” said Dale Wainwright, Chairman of the Texas Board of Criminal Justice. “I ask the public to remember their acts of unselfishness, remember their many acts of courage, and remember the dedication and commitment demonstrated every day by correctional officers. Please pray for this officer’s friends, family, and the department during this time.”
Johnson had been working as a corrections officer since 2009.
Screenshot via YouTube.