Texas Woman Allegedly Murdered by Ex-Husband Once Filed Protective Order Because She Feared He'd Kill Her
Authorities allege a Texas man murdered his ex-wife who had once filed a protective order expressing fear he would kill her, PEOPLE confirms.
Shaun Hardy was arrested on Dec. 30 after police executed a search warrant at his home and garage, where they allegedly found the body of Anne Christine Johnson wrapped in plastic and duct tape with scented candles nearby, according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
Johnson, 30, was reported missing by her family on Dec. 12, four days after she went to visit Hardy at his League City home. Johnson failed to show up to work and was never heard from again, KHOU reports.
According to the court documents, Hardy allegedly has a history of abusing his ex-wife.
In 2015, one year after their divorce, Johnson and Hardy filed separate protective orders against each other following an allegedly violent argument, Hardy’s order of protection against Johnson states.
“I am afraid that without this protective order, Shaun Philip Hardy will continue to hurt me or even kill me in the future,” Johnson told authorities at the time, Galveston County court officials tell PEOPLE.
Johnson went to the emergency room for her injuries and charges were never filed, ABC13 reports. The orders were subsequently dismissed, a Galveston County court official tells PEOPLE.
Despite the alleged abuse, Johnson got back together with her ex for the sake of their young son, who has special needs, according to ABC13.
“She didn’t go back to Shaun,” Janell Bogard told ABC13. “She went back to protect her child.”
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When he saw police approach his home on Sunday, Hardy allegedly began sobbing, according to the court documents. Soon after, Johnson’s body was found in the home’s garage.
During questioning, Hardy waived his right to a lawyer and allegedly admitted to killing Johnson, telling detectives that he “threw her to the ground…as hard as I could,” the documents state.
Hardy then allegedly said he put a plastic bag over Johnson’s head to “put her out of her misery,” the documents state.
According to the documents, Hardy “stated that he just wanted to see Anne die.”
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In what police believe was an attempt to cover up the killing, Hardy allegedly cleaned the area using a mop and ammonia before lighting scented candles near her remains.
In a series of Facebook posts over the last few days, Johnson’s mother, Stephanie Lieber Johnson, thanked the public for their support and prayers.
“I can’t even begin to describe to you what this feels like,” she writes. “I am only beginning to naturally use the past tense when describing the child who was my moon, sun, stars and witty adversary!”
Police continue to investigate the murder while Hardy remains in the Galveston County Jail on a one million dollar bond, jail records show.
It was not immediately clear whether he has entered a plea.