Homicide victim’s mother questions justice system

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – A Utah mother is calling for justice in the 2004 stabbing death of her son Daniel Johnson. The man behind bars for the crime could be released from jail before serving all of his time.

“They’ve taken the world from me,” expressed Nancy Johnson, Daniel’s mother.

Daniel was 18 at the time of his death. According to Nancy, Daniel was at a house warming party when his was stabbed in the leg. Court documents state that Raul Carrillo stabbed Daniel in an artery then gave the knife to his brother Alejandro Carrillo. Daniel managed to drive to his mother’s house in South Salt Lake where he crashed into the porch. He later died from his injuries.

Raul was charged with murder with the charges eventually dropped to manslaughter. Alejandro was acquitted.

“I was happy to get some kind of conviction, especially one that’s more than zero to five years. That made me feel better. However, the acquittal of Alejandro I questioned. I questioned if the district attorney had enough evidence to do the acquittal,” Nancy wondered.

Now Nancy can only dream about the man her son would have become and the life he would have lived.

“He would be a father — I hope,” Nancy told News4Utah’s Brittany Johnson. “He was looking forward to going into the military as a Marine.”

Fast forward to 2017 and Nancy’s dreams are being overshadowed by a parole hearing for Raul.

On December 5th, Raul went before the Utah Board of Pardons for a parole hearing, which Nancy says is 2 years early. The board is reviewing the case and is expected to decide within the next few months if Raul can be released early. 

“I am hoping that they do not release Raul Carillo at this time. I feel that he is a danger to society,” Nancy said. 

Although District Attorney Sim Gill cannot speak to what the board will do, he offered insight into the case, which was tried before he was in office.

“You cannot have the death penalty in every case because the facts and the evidence and the law have to come together. And this was classified factually and legally as a manslaughter not as a murder,” said Gill. “The amount of time a prisoner serves is determined ultimately by the board of pardons so as the prosecution, we don’t get to control that.”

“I think if the board of pardons gives me justice, I think that would really help with some closure,” said Nancy.

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