Woman Allegedly Kills Man in Her Yard


A Los Angeles woman was charged with murder Tuesday after she allegedly shot a homeless man in her backyard and used a shopping cart to move his body to the sidewalk, authorities said.

Patricia Jackson, 55, denied killing the man.

“She said, ‘It wasn’t my damn body, and it didn’t belong in my backyard,’ ” said Los Angeles Police Det. Jim Freund.

Passersby found the body Friday morning near the driveway of Jackson’s house at Benton Way and Council Street in the Rampart area, police said.


The victim was identified as Derrick Johnson, 39, who died from a single gunshot to the chest, according to the coroner’s office. Police said Johnson had an extensive criminal record.

The motive for the killing was not clear. Jackson’s neighbors described her as suspicious of strangers and reclusive, living alone in the large, rundown house.

“She got a little bit edgy,” said John Davis, who lives across the street and has talked to Jackson on a few occasions.

He said Jackson had lived in the once stately house all her life and was generally nice to those she knew. Other neighbors said they occasionally saw her rummaging the neighborhood for cans and “borrowing water” from garden faucets in other people’s yards.

Jay Bryson, who oversees a construction job on the street, said one of his employees saw Jackson pacing up and down the street with a handgun last Tuesday, grumbling that someone had broken into her house and that she would kill the person if she found him.

Bryson said his employee reported the incident to the Rampart station, less than a block from Jackson’s house.


At Jackson’s two-story home Tuesday, overgrown vegetation and trash covered the yard, and a sign in back warned: “No Hunting or Trespassing.”

Freund said detectives recovered a handgun from Jackson’s house, but could not confirm whether it was the murder weapon.

“I did not know she had that much of a paranoia,” said her neighbor Davis. “She is not violent. She gets herself worked up, but she doesn’t have anyone to even up the hills and gullies in her life.”

Jackson will be arraigned today.