Jury Finds Man Guilty of Setting Clerk on Fire, Killing Her

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Dallas jury found 38-year-old Matthew Johnson guilty of capital murder for setting Nancy Harris on fire as he robbed the convenience store where she worked.

    After three days of testimony a Dallas jury found Matthew Lee Johnson guilty in the 2012 brutal killing of a 76-year-old store clerk who was doused in flammable liquid and set on fire.

    During the capital murder trial, prosecutors said Johnson stole money from a Garland convenience store cash register before he doused the clerk, Nancy Harris, in flammable liquid, set her on fire and ran away.

    Harris died a few days later with almost half of her body covered in burns. However, she was able to describe her attacker to the Garland police officers who rushed to her aid.

    The horrific attack was captured on the store’s surveillance tape.

    Surveillance Video Played at Capital Murder Trial

    [DFW] Surveillance Video Played at Capital Murder Trial
    Matthew Johnson is accused of killing 76-year-old convenience store Nancy Harris, at his capital murder trial Monday prosecutors laid out their case. Prosecutors say Johnson set Harris on fire and quietly walked out of the store, the entire incident was recorded on store cameras.

    "The notion that you could set a woman's head on fire and not intend to kill her is crazy," prosecutors said during closing statements.

    The defense said prosecutors did not prove Johnson intentionally set Harris on fire and asked for a lesser murder charge.

    Prosecutors said a water bottle filled with lighter fluid and video that showed Johnson taking lighters was evidence the murder was intentional.

    Ultimately the jury decided Johnson was guilty.

    Harris was a grandmother and a widow. She had worked at the store for more than a decade and customers called her "everyone’s grandma."

    Harris' family declined to talk to reporters until sentencing is complete but they hugged and cried outside the courtroom after the verdict was read.

    Sentencing for Johnson begins at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, prosecutors are asking for the death penalty.

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