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Man Pleads Guilty in Robbery & Murder of Mother, Grandmother

A Garfield man will spend the rest of his life in prison after admitting that he helped rob and kill his mother and grandmother four years ago.
BENTON COUNTY, AR -- A Garfield man will spend the rest of his life in prison after admitting that he helped rob and kill his mother and grandmother four years ago.

Nicolas Johansen, 22, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Benton County to two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of armed robbery in the killing of Christina and Louise Bishop.

Johansen was sentenced to 160 years in prison, and must serve 70 percent of his sentence (112 years) before the possibility of parole.

"He will die in prison for his role in just a horrific, horrific crime," says Benton County Prosecutor Van Stone. "The victims are very happy with that. They did not want to go through the ordeal of another trial."

In November 2011, Johansen's accomplice, Michael Winters, was also found guilty and sentenced to life in prison for the crime. 

The men planned to rob the Bishops, but Stone says the plot evolved into murder a few days before the women went missing in June of 2009.

"It's pretty obvious to us and the police that if Michael Shane Winters had never entered their lives, this crime would not have happened," Stone says. "Mr. Winters carried out the worst aspects of the crime, but Mr. Johansen's role was certainly great."

A witness at Winters' trial told jurors Johansen started strangling his mother, but his grandmother came to the door, so Winters stepped in.

Johansen then attacked his grandmother, but couldn't kill her, and Winters took over once more.
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