Johnson pleads guilty to Klamath County homicide

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – A Klamath County man is headed to prison for more than six years after pleading guilty to homicide charges.

55-year-old Richard Byron Johnson pleaded guilty Tuesday to killing Benito Devila Sanchez.

The shooting happened in January of 2018 at Sanchez’ home in the Oregon Pines subdivision.

“The individuals involved had been having various disputes with each other, ” explained Klamath County District Attorney Eve Costello. “They were neighbors, they were friends, and one thing led to another, and unfortunately, this incident resulted.”

Initially charged with murder, Johnson pleaded guilty to negotiated charges of criminally negligent homicide and first-degree burglary.

Costello commented on the burglary charge: “Mister Johnson entered into the victims home for the purpose of obtaining evidence, and getting rid of evidence.”

The sister of the victim addressed Johnson in court and displayed pictures of her brother.

Johnson was sentenced to 75 months in prison.

If he’d been convicted of murder, the sentence could have been life in prison, with a minimum of 25 years.

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