Mother relieved to see arraignment in son’s murder

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Phillip Johnson was murdered outside his Keizer apartment late in the evening of July 1, 2004. Keizer Police Department detectives have kept the case active the whole time. (File photo)

Phillip Johnson was murdered outside his Keizer apartment late in the evening of July 1, 2004. Keizer Police Department detectives have kept the case active the whole time. (File photo)

By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes

All along, Jean Ausborn kept the faith.

In light of her son being murdered in Keizer back in 2004, Ausborn kept faith detectives with the Keizer Police Department would find the killer.

Even more, she kept her faith in a higher power.

That faith was rewarded last week as Victor David Smith was arraigned in Marion County Circuit Court on one count of murder with a firearm of Ausborn’s 33-year-old son, Phillip Lynn Johnson, outside his Cascadian Village Apartments residence on Claxter Road on July 1, 2004.

“(Phillip’s) brother and sister, I had to keep them motivated and encouraged,” Ausborn told the Keizertimes from her Mississippi residence June 28. “There were times they started to give up. I had to keep faith in God and in the police. That faith in God and knowing He’s just has kept me going. He is control over everything in our lives. He was in control over this shooting. Hopefully this will be over soon and we can get on with our lives.”

Since the murder, KPD detectives have continued to follow leads and given updates to Ausborn.

“They always reassured us this case was being kept going,” Ausborn said. “They were always interviewing, reinterviewing, traveling. They always told us they were moving forward. That gave us the hope.”

Capt. Jeff Kuhns with the KPD confirmed the case never went cold.


To read the complete article and other news from around the Keizer area, pick up a copy of the July 5 print edition of Keizertimes, available at stores all around the area. To subscribe to the print edition for just $25 a year, click on the ‘Subscribe Today’ link at the top of the page, call 503-390-1051 or visit our office at 142 Chemawa Road North in Keizer.

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