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Wallace pleads guilty to the first-degree murder of ex-wife Toney Ann Johnson

A Spencer man will spend the rest of his life in prison for the June 11 murder of his ex-wife at her parents’ Spencer home.

Rodney Roberto Wallace, 47, accepted a plea agreement this afternoon during a brief hearing in Rowan County Superior Court.

Toney Ann Johnson, 34, was found in the yard between her parents’ home at 705 Fourth St., where she was living, and another home at 707 Fourth St. She had been stabbed to death with a pocket knife.

Wallace stabbed Johnson 28 times, including in her head, arm, chest, shoulders, wrist and abdomen, according to statements read during the hearing.

The pair had been in a tumultuous and violent relationship for a number of years. Johnson had been granted a divorce from Wallace in January. The two had a 4-year-old son together.

Rowan District Attorney Brandy Cook said a neighbor witnessed the stabbing and screamed at Wallace to stop. The neighbor told Wallace she would call police and he told her to “go ahead.” The witness said in statements read in court that she thought Wallace was hitting Johnson, and that after he finished he walked calmly down the street.

Wallace went home to his apartment located one street behind the Fourth Street home, washed his hands and changed his clothes, Cook said.

He called a girlfriend and asked her to drive him to Wrightsville Beach to see his daughter before turning himself in to authorities. He told the girlfriend he’d killed his ex-wife, but she did not believe him until receiving a text message from someone who confirmed that Wallace was wanted by police.

Wallace’s attorney, Vincent Rabil, told the court his client was remorseful and this was a tragedy. Wallace spoke briefly saying that he was remorseful and it was something he’d carry with him for the rest of his life.

See Tuesday’s Post for more details.

 

 

 

 

 

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