Richard Santiago Charged in Slaying of Ramona Johnstone, Who Testified Against Him
Santiago is accused of fatally stabbing Johnstone insider her Woodbury apartment. She had testified against him during his 2006 trial in a slaying at the same apartment complex.
Ramona Johnstone helped put Richard Santiago behind bars.
Six years later, he returned and ended her life, prosecutors allege.
Santiago, 60, of the 1200 block of Carl Miller Boulevard in Camden, was charged Friday in the Dec. 17 slaying of Johnstone inside her residence at Woodbury Court Apartments, on Broad Street in Woodbury.
He is charged with first-degree murder, a third-degree charge of possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and a third-degree charge of hindering prosecution. Superior Court Judge Walter L. Marshall Jr. set Santiago's bail at $1 million.
Johnstone, 54, was found unconscious in her apartment Monday night and was pronounced dead on arrival at Underwood-Memorial Hospital, Woodbury. She died of multiple stab wounds, an autopsy concluded.
Johnstone was a prosecution witness in Santiago’s trial on charges of fatally stabbing a 44-year-old Mantua Township man in the same Woodbury apartment complex on Sept. 12, 2004.
Santiago was convicted in his 2006 trial of aggravated manslaughter in the death of Richard King, an acquaintance of Johnstone's. Santiago was sentenced to nine years in state prison. He was released May 6, 2012.
Santiago was arrested Wednesday, Dec. 19 on a parole violation charge unrelated to Johnstone’s death. He is being held in the Camden County Jail in lieu of bail.
“The arrest was the culmination of good police work by the Major Crimes, Crime Scene and Fugitive units of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, along with several members of the Woodbury Police Department and the New Jersey Department of Parole,” said Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean F. Dalton.
The investigation into Ramona Johnstone’s death remains open. Anyone with information related to the slaying is asked to contact the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office at 856-384-5500, the Woodbury Police Department at 856-845-0065 or text an anonymous tip to GLOTIP + your message to 274637 (CRIMES).
Correction: Santiago was released from custody in May, not paroled. The prosecutor's office originally sent out incorrect information.