Johnson gets life for '95 rape & murder - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Johnson gets life for '95 rape & murder

October 10, 2007

Tifton -- Nearly 12 years after a Tift County woman was brutally raped and murdered, her killer is sentenced for the crime.

41-year-old Mary Rita Hogandorf's body was found in her burned out home in December 1995.

The crime went unsolved for years, but DNA tests finally pointed to 60-year-old Lee Edward Johnson.

The state tested Johnson's DNA a couple of years ago when he was supposed to be released from prison after a 1996 burglary conviction.

On Friday, he pleaded guilty to murder, rape, and arson charges and was sentenced to life without parole.

He had been out of jail on other charges only a few months when Hogandorf was killed.

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