Looking at her pictures and reading her thoughts on social media, you would never know she was the victim of domestic violence.
Monica Lynn Butler – Johnson was a beautiful, slender, stylish woman who, by appearances, had everything: a successful career, strong religious convictions, beautiful and successful children, and a handsome husband named David.
On September 18, 2014, Monica posted* on her Facebook timeline: Happy Birthday to my boo…a man after God’s own heart…my incredibly smart and handsome hubby..the champion of my heart. Praying God’s blessings on you today & everyday.
Her “boo” was husband David L. Johnson Sr., a handsome man with a big smile; his Facebook was covered with pictures of his children, Biblical quotes, and prayers. He was employed full time, from 1997 to 2003, as a Deputy with East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff Department.
In April 2015 her Facebook profile picture reveals a slender, smiling, exuberant Monica; she posted “taken in Houston … I was on a charter bus with my church family.”
On August 13, 2015, there was a different post; appearing in The Advocate Magazine, reading in part:
Monica departed this life and entered into eternal glory on Sunday, August 9, 2015 …
Nothing is posted that reveals the terror.
She was deeply religious, an LSU Tigers fan, an Alpha Kappa Alpha pledge at LSU, and a Remington College Admissions Administrator, a tough job, for 12 years. Monica’s LinkedIn profile reveals proficiency in numerous tasks, including team building and public speaking. Her pictures show a happy, proud woman. She obviously loved her children, immensely proud of their intelligence; her friends and family loved her and were so proud of her.
On December 25, 2014, David posted on his Facebook timeline: Merry Christmas everyone! The perfect gift is LOVE!
What Monica and David did not document on social media was documented instead in the legal system:
Dec 31, 2014
David choked Monica by the neck in a dispute over a cell phone. Ascension Parish Sheriffs Office arrested him for Domestic Strangulation. Monica refused to give statements or receive medical treatment; she did agree to have photos taken of her injuries. She explained this was an isolated incident due to a change in his medication. David was not charged, but the case was not closed. The court entered David into the Probation Program, sending David to an Anger Management Program, with several other conditions.
January 5, 2015
A Bail Hearing was held on the December 31 charge. Monica asked the District Attorney’s office to drop charges. David was released on $2,000 bail.
January 27, 2015
David’s post on his Facebook timeline shows himself and a smiling Monica, leaning in together for a selfie.
Monica reported David had moved out of their home.
June 10, 2015
David’s post on his Facebook timeline is scripture from Psalms: “Be still and know that I am God.”
June 19, 2015
David appears at party Monica & her 8-year-old son were attending. That night he cruised the street where she lived. For the latter he received a warning by police.
June 24, 2015
Monica took out a restraining order on David, explaining he was stalking her and recording her. She reported neither she nor her children felt safe. A temporary order was filed.
July 6 until Aug. 24, 2015
The retraining order was extended to these dates.
July 23, 2015
David’s last post on his Facebook timeline was a picture with his children, all smiling proudly.
August 9, 2015
Monica hosted a high school graduation party for her son at her brick & tan; impeccably clean two-story home with its two-car garage in Geismar Louisiana. Soon after the last guest departed, David smashed the rear sliding glass door and grabbed a baseball bat. Monica’s 18 year old son, the party’s guest of honor, attempted to protect his mother; David broke the boy’s arm. The boy grabbed his eight-year-old brother’s hand to race to a neighbor’s home. Police arrived at 11:00 p.m., but it was too late for Monica.
August 10, 2015
David was arrested, charged with First Degree Murder, Attempted First Degree Murder, Violation of a Protective Order and Aggravated Robbery with a Weapon. He had 18 months left to finish the Probation Program.
Monica’s bloodied and bludgeoned body was at the morgue.
Now Monica is another victim of domestic violence, an empty chair at the family table, and documented in tears.
If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic violence, there is help. Tell someone. Contact the National Domestic Violence website HERE or call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). You can also make a donation in Monica’s name HERE.
On Twitter: #MonicaButlerJohnson
(*All Facebook posts are verbatim)