State's Attorney: 'Elgin Is a Safer Place' With Murderer Behind Bars

State’s Attorney: ‘Elgin Is a Safer Place’ With Murderer Behind Bars

An Elgin man will likely spend the rest of his life in prison for brutally murdering his neighbor, 33-year-old Lisa Koziol-Ellis, when she discovered him burglarizing her townhouse early in 2013.

Paul A. Johnson, 36, last address of the 1-99 block of Garden Crescent Court, Elgin, was sentenced Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, by Circuit Judge Susan Clancy Boles to 50 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Johnson was convicted May 19, 2015, by a Kane County jury of first-degree murder.

During the seven-day trial prosecutors presented evidence that between 11:30 p.m. March 1, 2013, and 1 a.m. March 2, 2013, Johnson broke into a townhouse in the
1-99 block of Garden Crescent Court, Elgin, when he believed no one was home. Johnson encountered Ms. Koziol-Ellis and stabbed her 55 times in the head, neck, torso and arms. Thirteen of the wounds were defensive and were consistent with being stabbed by a sharp object. Ms. Koziol-Ellis’ dead body was found by her husband when he returned home from work at 2:30 a.m. March 2, 2013.

Johnson at the time of the murder was on parole for a 2010 conviction for residential burglary. Johnson was convicted three times in 2001 of armed robbery.

In addition to finding Johnson guilty, the jury found that Johnson’s crime was accompanied by exceptionally brutal or heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty.

According to Illinois law, Johnson must serve 100 percent of the sentence. He receives credit for at least 921 days served in the Kane County jail, where he had been held since his arrest in lieu of $5 million bail. Bond was revoked upon conviction.

Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon said:

“This is a sentence that, I hope, will allow Lisa’s family and friends, as well as the Elgin community to believe that justice has been served. When any person’s life is taken as brutally as this, we work tirelessly for justice. Today I believe, after 2½ years, we have achieved that.

“This crime was what people fear — that they cannot be safe inside of their own home. Mr. Johnson has proven many times in his adult life that he has no interest in living in a community of decent citizens. It’s sad that the only place he fits in is in a prison cell. Elgin is a safer place with him behind bars for what probably will be the rest of his life.

“Thank you to Elgin Police Chief Jeff Swoboda and the many members of his team who worked around the clock for weeks investigating this vicious crime. I also want to thank our prosecution team of Bill Engerman, Sal LoPiccolo and Bridget Sabbia for their outstanding work, as well as the Elgin community for their patience and cooperation during the investigation.”

SOURCE: Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office press release

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