In a virtual sentencing on Wednesday, San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen sentenced Daniel Raul Rodriguez Johnson to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Johnson, 34, was arrested and charged in the stabbing murders of his girlfriend, Carrington Jane Broussard, and her full-term unborn baby in March 2019. Authorities found Broussard's body at Johnson's rural Paso Robles home on the morning of March 3, after arresting Johnson north of San Simeon as he fled in a stolen CHP vehicle.
On Sept. 8, 2021, Johnson pleaded guilty to charges of first- and second-degree murder.
On Wednesday morning, Johnson appeared for sentencing via Zoom from the San Luis Obispo County Jail where he has been incarcerated since his arrest.
Brian Buckley, Johnson's attorney, read Johnson's statement to the court.
"The loss of my wife and son is a tragedy far beyond description. Two beautiful lives were lost that day in a moment that should have never happened. A moment that should have and could have been avoided had I been a stronger man," Johnson's statement read. "I never intended to hurt anyone that day, but in my addiction, I chose to get high. The dose that should have killed me instead ended the lives of the two people that I love the most."
Johnson asked for forgiveness and prayers before imploring people to seek help for drug addiction and mental health issues.
"Next time you go to use, think of my wife, think of our baby boy and think of all the tragedies in your own life. We all have them. Enough is enough," Johnson's statement concluded.
Before van Rooyen read Johnson's sentence, he responded to Johnson's statement.
"Mr. Johnson, this wasn't just a tragedy. It was something that you decided to do. This was not something that happened to you. It was something that you did. And part of taking responsibility for this is understanding that you are not a victim in this, but you are the perpetrator," van Rooyen said.
He announced that for Johnson's first count of first-degree murder, he is sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. For Johnson's second count of second-degree murder, he is sentenced to a term of 15 years to life. Johnson will serve both sentences concurrently.
Deputy District Attorney Megan Baltierra, who prosecuted the case, read a statement from Ted Broussard, Carrington Broussard's father, before the sentencing.
Ted Broussard said that he struggled to find words to describe the murder of his daughter and unborn grandson, which left him feeling angry and robbed.
"Since I will never get any real closure or answers, I pray that my daughter and grandson receive justice," Ted Broussard's statement concluded.
Broussard, who was 27 when she was killed, left behind two daughters. Broussard's family requested a 10-year order barring Johnson from contacting the daughters, but van Rooyen denied it.
"I don't want to get in the way of what would be best for the children in the future if it becomes apparent that it is best for them to have contact," van Rooyen said, explaining the decision.
Johnson has been ordered to pay restitution to the family in an amount and method to be determined, Van Rooyen said. The restitution hearing is set for July 11.
After the sentencing, Johnson said that he intends to write letters to the family members.