McMinn County, Tennessee, man charged with attempted first-degree murder in shooting of wife

A McMinn County, Tennessee, man was jailed on an attempted murder charge Sunday, accused of shooting his wife over allegations of infidelity.

Jan Louis Johnson, 63, of County Road 783 in Etowah, is charged with attempted first-degree murder and is being held at the McMinn County Jail in Athens, Tennessee, on a $100,000 bond, according to court records and a news release from McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy.

Deputies and detectives answering the report of a person shot at the Johnsons' home about 5 a.m. Sunday found the victim, Joanne Johnson, bleeding from at least two gunshot wounds, Guy said in the release. Johnson told officers he shot his wife after becoming angry with her, Guy said.

"Mr. Johnson seemed to think there were some marital problems going on," Guy said in the release. "He claimed that he'd become upset at some of his wife's behavior and decided to take her life."

(READ MORE: Tennessee seeks death penalty against McMinn quadruple murder defendants with trial date set for September 2023)

photo Contributed Photo by McMinn County Sheriff's Office / Jan Louis Johnson, 63, of McMinn County, Tenn.

There was no attorney on record for Johnson at the McMinn County Courthouse, according to court officials. Johnson's next court appearance is set for Aug. 4.

According to a court affidavit on the arrest, Jan Johnson came out of the home when officers arrived and told them he had just shot his wife in the stomach.

A .40-caliber pistol and a spent shell casing were found in the master bedroom, the affidavit states. Johnson waived his right to an attorney and allegedly agreed to an interview in a responding officer's patrol car.

(READ MORE: Woman killed in McMinn County standoff)

Johnson told officers he believed his wife was having an affair, and on Friday morning he laid in bed while his wife was in the shower getting ready for work and "planned to shoot her when she came out of the bathroom," the affidavit states. Johnson told the officers he shot his wife twice.

In a subsequent hospital recovery room interview with police in Knoxville, Joanne Johnson told investigators after she finished her shower, she stepped out 0f the bathroom and "heard an explosion and thought something blew up and had got her in the leg," the affidavit states. "Then almost immediately, she heard another gunshot and was struck in her chest for a total of two shots."

Joanne Johnson told police she and her husband had not been arguing that day.

After she was shot, she asked her husband why, and Jan Johnson said it was because she had been cheating on him, an allegation she denied, the affidavit states. Joanne Johnson told her husband she needed to go to the hospital.

Officers rendered emergency aid until an ambulance arrived, Guy said.

Johnson was ordered to have no contact with his wife and to wear a GPS monitor if he is released on bond, according to court documents.

Contact Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton.

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