A League City police officer stands at the scene of the crime. Photo by Stuart Villanueva/The Daily News
By VALERIE WELLS The Daily News, Jan 3, 2017
WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS OF VIOLENCE.
Shaun Philip Hardy, 32, and his 5-year-old son lived for most of December while the boy’s mother, clad in Christmas pajamas and wrapped in plastic and duct tape, lay dead in the garage of their suburban home on Chesterfield Lane, court documents released Tuesday revealed.
Hardy admitted Saturday to League City Police that he killed his former wife, Anne-Christine Johnson, 30, according to a probable cause affidavit filed with the Galveston County District Attorney.
Hardy waived his right to have his attorney present before he made the statement, the affidavit said.
“I threw her on the ground, and that time I threw her with my full … as hard as I could,” Hardy told police.
Hardy is charged with first-degree murder and tampering with evidence. His bond was set at $1 million.
Johnson was bleeding significantly from injuries to her head and face after he threw her to the ground, Hardy told police. She was laying on her left side facing Hardy with a knife blade to her chest as if she would stab herself, Hardy told police.
Wanted to see her die
He told investigators he kicked the knife with his left foot and showed them where his shoe was dented by the knife hilt. His intention was to drive the blade into Johnson’s chest, according to the affidavit.
Hardy then put a plastic Kroger bag over Johnson’s head to put her “out of her misery” because the knife had caused her to cough and gurgle, he told police. Hardy wanted to see Johnson die, he told police.
After Johnson had died, Hardy rolled her up in a rug and bagged her body in plastic and sealed it with duct tape, he told police, according to the affidavit.
He cleaned the floor with a mop and ammonia, hid the knife in a box in the kitchen and put Johnson’s body in the garage and “tried to cover this up,” according to the affidavit.
The Galveston County Medical Examiner’s autopsy notes that Johnson had been wearing Christmas pajama pants and a shirt when she died, according to the affidavit.
The medical examiner removed a brown plastic Kroger shopping bag from her head and found two puncture wounds in her neck, a laceration to her chin and a wound that could have been caused by a knife in her chest, according to the affidavit.
He began to cry
Police found Johnson’s body Dec. 30 in Hardy’s garage while investigating a missing person report Johnson’s father had filed Dec. 12.
Investigators had obtained cell phone data that showed Johnson’s cell phone to be somewhere southwest of 617 Chesterfield Lane after 9 p.m. Dec. 8, according to the affidavit.
When police arrived Dec. 30 with a warrant to search for cell phones, Hardy began to cry, according to the affidavit.
One of the officers did a security check of the bedrooms and garage and noticed a strong odor of decaying flesh, according to the affidavit. The officer then saw in the garage an object the size of a human body wrapped in dark plastic and duct tape. Scented candles were nearby.
Police stopped their search for the cell phones while awaiting another search warrant. They remained at the residence while Hardy arranged for relatives to take one of his two children, described as a special-needs child.
Hardy was charged Dec. 30 with tampering with a human corpse. The arrest affidavit said Hardy knew police were investigating a missing person report about Johnson, and that he intentionally tampered with a human corpse and cleaned blood off the floor.
Unknown man, white sedan
The missing person case began when Lee Johnson reported his daughter missing Dec. 12. Lee Johnson said he and Anne-Christine Johnson had been exchanging text messages from Dec. 4 to arrange a dinner date for Dec. 9, according to the affidavit. In the text messages, Anne-Christine Johnson gave her residence as 617 Chesterfield Lane and said she lived with Hardy. The two had been divorced since late April 2015.
Lee Johnson arrived at 617 Chesterfield Lane Dec. 9, but Hardy said Anne-Christine Johnson was not there and did not reside there, according to the affidavit.
Lee Johnson returned to the residence Dec. 12, and Hardy told him Anne-Christine Johnson had been there Dec. 8, but had left that afternoon in a white sedan driven by an unknown man, according to the affidavit.
During a phone interview with police, Hardy said she had left the house about 5:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. Police reviewed surveillance video from 602 Chesterfield Lane that showed the street, but didn’t show a white sedan during that time frame, according to the affidavit.
Police subpoenaed business records from the ride-hailing service Uber for Anne-Christine Johnson’s account, which recorded the last activity on Oct. 30.
Lee Johnson and other relatives told police the story was suspicious because Hardy was very jealous and didn’t like Anne-Christine Johnson being around other men, according to the affidavit.
The dead woman’s relatives also told police her disappearance was out of character because of her relationship with her son Roland, 5. She would never run away from him, they told police during multiple interviews.
The family had been convinced from the beginning that Hardy had something to do with the disappearance, in part because of an assault June 16, 2015. In that assault case, both Anne-Christine Johnson and Hardy said the other had been the primary aggressor. League City Police arrested no one and no charges were filed.
In Johnson’s version of events, Hardy pointed a loaded shotgun at her, struck her with the muzzle, knocked her head into the wall, then pushed her to the floor and choked her, according to an affidavit.
She sent photos of the extensive bruising around the throat, shoulders, arms, upper chest and face to her friend, Lara Garcia. In the same text message string, she said the marks were from Hardy attacking her June 16, 2015, according to an affidavit.
Claims of violence
Another friend, Janell Lemm, told police she had seen Hardy hit Johnson when they were married and living at the Seven Palms Apartments, according to an affidavit.
Bradley Singletary, a former coworker of Hardy’s, told police that shortly after the documented 2015 assault, Hardy had confided that he frightened himself by going into such a rage that he had choked Anne-Christine Johnson, according to an affidavit.
Hardy told him that he did not realize he was capable of strangling Anne-Christine Johnson, Singletary told police.
Valerie Wells is a reporter at The Daily News and can be reached at 409-683-5246 or email@example.com.