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Inmate Faces Charges for 2006 Murder of Fort Wayne Business Owner

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO) – A 39-year-old man who is currently serving a sentence at Westville Correctional Facility is now facing charges for killing a Fort Wayne business owner back in 2006, court documents say.

Derrick R. Johnson is now charged with murder, felony murder, and robbery in connection with a fatal shooting that took place on March 29, 2006, according to our partners in news at 21 Alive. A probable cause document filed in the case shows police and EMS found Robert Scott Parrish dead from a gunshot wound that night in his home, fully clothed in his bathroom. The man’s death was later ruled a homicide by the coroner.

Police say they found a brass-colored .40 caliber Smith and Wesson shell casing on the bathroom floor and collected it as evidence, documents say. While searching the home, court documents say officers found a marijuana grow operation in Parrish’s basement.

Nearly two years later, in January of 2008, court documents say investigators heard of a possible suspect in the case who went by “Q”. Documents say a witness told police that “Q”, identified as Derrick Johnson, showed him two marijuana plants he said he got during a robbery. Documents say Johnson told the witness that during the robbery, he shot Parrish in the head inside his bathroom before stealing the two plants.

Detectives later interviewed Johnson at the Westville Correctional Facility in July of 2014, who said he met Parrish through a man referred to as Witness 1. He said Parrish and Witness 1 would work together on construction sites. Parrish was the owner of Parrish Wallpaper & Paint, Inc., according to his obituary.

Johnson told police he had purchased “real good weed” from Parrish, admitting that he carried two .40 caliber Smith & Wesson guns around the time Parrish was murdered, court records say.

Then in July of 2015, court documents say detectives got a letter from the Allen County Prosecutors Office sent by Johnson. Johnson wrote that Parrish was “executed by Johnson’s gang, Northern Vatos Locos, because Parrish was stealing marijuana and money from the gang”, the court document says.

The probable cause document says Johnson wrote that the “higher-ups” ordered Parrish to be killed with “one head shot, leave the shell case at the scene, take back their plants, leave the grow-lab, and nothing else.” Johnson said he filled out the execution order and admitted to enforcing that the order be filled, documents say. Johnson told police he put an “SOS” detail on Parrish, which meant “Shoot on Site”.

Detectives spoke with Johnson again in August 2015, saying Parrish gave jobs to Johnson’s “guys”, who would launder money through Parrish’s business. Johnson admitted to making sure the execution was carried out, saying one “squad” killed Parrish while a second group came in and stole the two marijuana plants.

Johnson told investigators he was “just as guilty as anyone”, documents say, but would not say who shot Parrish because it was against his organization’s “Code of Silence”.

“Johnson said he made a bad decision in having Parrish killed and said he probably should have worked with him because no one deserves to die. Johnson said Parrish would not be dead if it wasn’t for him,” the court documents read.

Police spoke with Johnson on December 14, 2023, who again said he did not kill Parrish but he knew who did. He then admitted to taking a photo with the same type of .40 caliber Smith and Wesson gun that matched the shell casing found at the crime scene.

He also admitted to carrying those same guns around the time Parrish was murdered and admitted to purchasing marijuana from Parrish, documents say. Johnson then told police he had every gun you could think of and said, “I am not 100% it is even my damn bullet”, the probable cause document says.

Johnson was then formally charged with murder, felony murder, and robbery in the case on May 13. He is currently in the Westville Correctional Facility serving a sentence for aggravated battery.

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