Says mom’s mental health was an ongoing concern

HOBBS, NEW MEXICO (KMID/KPEJ) — “I want to try to make sure no other kids have to go through that, nobody should have to go through that.”

A heartbroken sister is speaking only to ABC Big 2 News.

Earlier this month, her 11 year old brother was stabbed to death in Hobbs. Police say their mom murdered him.

“Its hard because as a parent I look at my kids, and I cant even begin to understand how or why.”

The older sister of 11-year-old Bruce Johnson Junior doesn’t want to be identified, but she wants her brother’s story told.

“The balloon release in Oklahoma last Friday just felt like him. Its where he felt at home. It’s where there’s so many memories of him fishing, spending time with friends, riding the golf cart. Him and I used to race down the dock.”

On July 10th around 1 a.m., the Lea County Sheriffs Office responded to a home on North Dal Paso Street after a stabbing.

When police got there, they found the mother, Mary Johnson, and her 11-year-old son with stab wounds.

The police affidavit says Mary had stab wounds to her chest and Bruce Jr. was found laying face down on his bed with several stab wounds..

Deputies say the knife was still in his back.

Bruce Jr. told police he couldn’t feel his legs and woke up from his sleep being stabbed.

The father was also home at the time but was not hurt. Bruce Johnson Sr., told police he believed Mary had stabbed herself. Police confirm that her wounds were consistent with self inflicted stab wounds.

From there, Mary was moved to University Medical Center Hospital in Lubbock.

“I noticed something just wasnt right. I mean thats the person that birthed me, but that just wasnt my mom.”

Bruce Jr. was rushed to Covenant Hospital in Lubbock where according to the police affidavit, he told police his mom stabbed him.

He died just hours later around 4 o’clock in the morning. Medical examiners believe he was stabbed 8 times.

The police affidavit goes on to say, a nurse at the hospital shared with police, that Mary told the nurse ‘If I cant have him, no one can’.

“That’s just not the mom I remember whenever he was a baby. She was so excited whenever she had him, she was just over the moon.”

The police affidavit said Bruce Senior told police that before living in Hobbs, the family lived in Marshall County, Oklahoma.

While there, reports with the Marshall County Sheriffs Office, show that deputies have been called out to the home at least 20 times.
Most for welfare checks, where reports say Mary was making frightening Facebook posts, threatening suicide and threatening to hurt her son.

Soon after, Bruce Senior along with his son, moved to Hobbs, New Mexico, and left Mary in Oklahoma while he filed for divorce.

He says it had been 40 days since he or his son had seen Mary, but that Mary was begging to see her son.

Bruce Jr’s sister says she even reached out to her moms psychiatrist in May, just two months before the stabbing, saying her mom was no longer taking the medications she was prescribed and wasn’t herself, even hallucinating.

“If you were to observe her for a few days, or take what she was typing or texting seriously, it may have made a difference.”

Bruce Sr. told police he found his son Bruce Jr. with a baseball bat hidden under his bed sheets while living in Oklahoma. When he asked his son why he had the bat, he told his father “Don’t take my bat dad, that’s for protection from mom.”

Bruce Sr. also told investigators that Mary would jump on his chest with her knees at night and say ‘I’m going to give you a heart attack’.

“I feel like if he would’ve taken that seriously, and maybe had her put inpatient, that that would’ve done something because she had been off her meds for so long.”

Bruce Jr’s sister even called in a welfare check for her brother a month before this tragedy.
She said her mother’s Facebook posts were disturbing and she was concerned about her brother.

“She was supposed to be on medication, and I know that she stopped her medication, and there’s Facebook posts where she states this, and I think that escalated some of the mental stuff she had going.”

She even filed a no contact order after she says her mother made threats against her own children–Mary’s grandkids.

“She talked about taking my boys, and helping them to ascend, and to ascend everyone must die, and that just gave me the creeps.”

Bruce Jr’s sister says she wishes someone would’ve intervened sooner, and that it never should’ve come to this.

“I know that law enforcement says their hands were tied on bringing her in and getting her mentally evaluated, and I think if they would’ve been able to take her in, somebody would’ve been able to see that she was not okay.”

Many of her family members said mary needed mental help for a long time, and wish someone could’ve done more to commit her to a facility.

“Thats where I feel like something needs to change and the laws needed to be reworded. Because if I could’ve gotten her help and it just wasn’t on the spouse, and it was family or other people that we’re able to do something, and they took it seriously, this may have been able to be intervened a long time ago.”