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Vigil being held for Amherst County murder victim

Published On: Jan 14 2014 04:10:38 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 16 2014 10:53:27 PM EST

We're learning new information about the death of Jennifer Johnson of Amherst County, who was shot and killed by the father of one of her children. A candlelight vigil was held at Amherst Baptist Church in her honor.


The man charged with the murder of an Amherst County woman was formally arraigned Thursday morning.

Cordell Carter has been accused of killing Jennifer Johnson in her home on Tuesday. 

A search warrant stated that one of Johnson’s sons called 911 after she was killed. 

When paramedics arrived, one of the children showed them where Johnson’s body was. 

Deputies also found a window broken in her bedroom. 

A single gun shell was found in the room with Johnson’s body, but investigators did not find a gun. 

Carter was the last person seen with Johnson before she died. 

Witness’s state that an argument took place and a loud bang was heard before Johnson’s body was found. 


A candlelight vigil is being held Thursday night for the woman who was murdered Tuesday in Amherst County.

The vigil is at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Amherst Baptist Church.

Jennifer Johnson was shot Tuesday in her home. She was a student at Liberty University and was just months away from graduating with a degree in business.

Tune into WDBJ7 at 10 and 11 for more.


We're learning a lot more about the woman deputies say was shot and killed by the father of one of her children.

Jennifer Johnson was killed at her home in Amherst County Tuesday.

"She was one amazing mother, sister, grandchild, and child," said Carrie Tomlin, Johnson's younger sister.

"She was...," Tomlin said, pausing to realize that her sister is now gone.

Instead of focusing on what happened, Tomlin is remembering the sweet person who was always looking out for everyone else.

"She just always helped out," Tomlin explained.  "If anyone was in need, even if Jenny didn't have it, she would make sure they had it."

"Jenny," as family called her, was a hard working waitress with high aspirations.

"I went over to her house last week and she was showing me all of her goals," Tomlin said Wednesday.  "She wrote down her goals and told me what she wanted to have done by the summer."

Johnson was studying business at Liberty University, just a few months shy of graduation.

"She was trying to better herself," said Jamie Harper, Johnson's older sister.  "She wanted to be something."

Harper says her younger sibling wanted a better life for her two sons.

"She wanted to show them better things," Harper said.  "How to be better."

She tried to shield her boys from evil, but that's exactly what they witnessed Tuesday.

Investigators say Cordell Carter, the father of Johnson's six-year old son shot and killed her at her Amherst home.  Both boys were present when the shooting happened.

Getting past that terrible image will be difficult, but Johnson's family is doing everything they can to make sure her sons are loved and protected.

"She knows her boys are okay," Tomlin said of her sister.  "She's watching down right.  She knows that her boys will be taken care of."

Carter is charged with murder.  Deputies couldn't find him Tuesday night, but he turned himself in to the sheriff's office Wednesday morning.

The murder is believed to be the result of a domestic dispute.  For that reason the Lynchburg YWCA is planning a candlelight vigil to remember Johnson and other victims of domestic violence Thursday night at the Amherst County Court House.


An Amherst County murder suspect is being held without bond.

Cordell Carter turned himself into law enforcement around 11 a.m. Wednesday morning. He is charged with the murder of Jennifer Johnson.

Johnson was found dead Tuesday afternoon in her Amherst Highway home. Johnson, 30, died from a single gunshot wound, according to investigators. According to Sheriff Ayers, both of Johnson’s sons were in the home at the time of her murder.

Johnson and Carter had a 6-year-old child together, according to Sheriff Ayers.

Carter, 49, is being held without bond. He is due to appear for an advisement hearing in Amherst County General District Court.


Amherst County murder suspect Cordell Carter has been arrested.

Carter turned himself into law enforcement around 11 a.m. Wednesday. Carter, 49, is accused of killing Jennifer Johnson. She was found dead Tuesday in her Amherst Highway home. Johnson was a mother of two.

Carter is charged with murder, and is being taken to a Magistrate for a bond hearing.


Police are looking for a suspect described as armed and dangerous in the murder of an Amherst County mother of two.

Warrants have been issued charging Cordell Carter, 49, of Campbell County with the murder of Jennifer Johnson, 30, of Amherst County.

Investigators said Carter is 5’10” and weighs 210 pounds.

Johnson's body was found in her home located at 1773 S. Amherst Highway around 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Investigators aren’t releasing many other details as to how Johnson was murdered, but her friends and neighbors are speaking out about the woman they once knew.

Friends remember Johnson as a loving and caring mother.

"She was a sweetheart,” said Martin. “She came over here and helped me a lot or she would just come over here and talk."

Johnson's body was taken to the office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Roanoke for an autopsy.

If you see Carter or know of his location, you're asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-798-5900.


Sources tell WDBJ7 that law enforcement is investigating the suspicious death in Amherst County as a murder.

A woman's body was found at a home on Route 29 business between Amherst and Monroe around 2 p.m. Tuesday.

Investigators aren't telling us how she was killed, but they are looking for a suspect in connection with the death.

Sources say the suspect is armed and dangerous.

Check back soon for more updates.


Investigators in Amherst County are on the scene of what Sheriff Jimmy Ayers confirmed as a suspicious death at a home on South Amherst Highway.

WDBJ7's Tim Saunders is on the way.

Check back soon for more updates.