Wife among arrested in husband's slaying

Investigators have arrested six people in the August shooting death of a Modesto man -- including his wife -- Modesto police said Friday.

Karl Johnson, 39, was shot and killed in his northeast Modesto home Aug. 30.

The home was used as a halfway house for recovering drug addicts, and five people were living with Johnson and his wife when he was killed, one of Johnson's relatives said Friday.

Johnson's wife, Carol Laverne Johnson, 51, of Berkeley was arrested on suspicion of murder and conspiracy in Modesto on Thursday, said Sgt. Brian Findlen, a Modesto police spokesman.

Findlen said four other suspects were arrested Thursday in the East Bay:

Desamona Crowder, 24, of Fresno, on suspicion of murder and conspiracy in Oakland

Alisia Shantay Brown, 19, of Oakland, on suspicion of accessory to commit a felony in San Leandro

George Marvin Willoughby Jr., 24, of Oakland on suspicion of murder and conspiracy in Oakland

Deleon Abdul Jabbar Hosley, 28, of Berkeley on suspicion of conspiracy and violating parole in El Sobrante

And on Friday, investigators arrested Dasheme Kareme Hosley, 30, of Berkeley, in Modesto on suspicion of murder.

Modesto police and Stanislaus County district attorney's office investigators served several search warrants in Berkeley, Hayward, San Leandro and Oakland on Thursday, Findlen said.

Police declined to release further details, including whether a murder weapon was found, who shot Karl Johnson, and the suspects' relationship with Johnson.

"We don't want to jeopardize the investigation of this case," Findlen said.

He said Modesto police and the district attorney's office are expected to release further details early next week.

Officers were called to the house in the 2900 block of Lincoln Oak Drive, just south of Ustach Middle School, at 4:48 a.m. on Aug. 30, according to Sgt. Brian Findlen. When they arrived, they found Karl Johnson, who had been shot. He was taken to a Modesto hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Art Ray, 61, of Antioch is married to Karl Johnson's sister. He said Friday night Karl and Carol Johnson married in 2005 and moved into the northeast Mo- desto home about a year ago.

Several years ago, Ray said, Karl Johnson developed an addiction to crack cocaine and later sought treatment at a rehab center in Oregon. He returned to the East Bay clean and sober and met Carol at a halfway house she operated in Berkeley.

Ray said they married and moved to Tracy before moving to Modesto. He said the couple operated halfway houses for recovering drug addicts in both homes.

He said there were about five recovering drug addicts who lived with the Johnsons at their Modesto home.

Ray said his brother-in-law grew up in the rough part of Oakland, but he managed to stay out of serious trouble.

"He was not a violent person at all," Ray said. "He would make you laugh to get out trouble."

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at or 578-2394.