officials were eventually able to reconstruct enough evidence to issue a murder warrant for Martha Johnson, based largely on the autopsy of Jennyann Wright in 1982.
On July 3, 1989, Johnson was arrested for murder and held without bail. She quickly confessed to murdering Jennyann Wright and James Taylor by rolling her body onto the small children while they slept. However, she denied any responsibility for the deaths of her other two children. Johnson made it clear that the murders were an act of revenge committed to punish her husband after the couple had argued.
Johnson went to trial on April 30, 1990, for multiple counts of murder, having retracted her confession of a year earlier. However, a condemning piece of evidence presented at her trial was a videotape of the original confession, which could not be ignored by the jury. In the end, Johnson's trial was a short one that clearly evidenced her guilt. By May 5, 1990, Martha Johnson has been found guilty and sentenced to death for the murder of her children.