Rebekah Johnson, who apparently fled after allegedly shooting the leader of the Ganas commune on Staten Island in 2006, was found not guilty by a jury yesterday. The victim, Jeffrey Gross, who was shot in his leg, arm, neck and stomach, said, "I'm stunned, that's about it."
Gross told police Johnson shot him. She had a rocky history with the group, previously suing Ganas for $3 million (claiming she was kicked out of the group for "refusing to have a lesbian relationship"), accusing the group of rape and forcing marriage, and harassing Gross. Police also found target practice silhouettes in her apartment, but didn't find Johnson until a year later outside of Philadelphia.
Authorities were tipped off when she used her real name to buy a car and open a post office box as well as when a subway rider recognized her from America's Most Wanted. And she had an AK-47 and 1,000 rounds of ammo in her Philly apartment.
A jury were apparently convinced by the doubt Johnson's lawyer threw on Gross, saying it was too dark for him to see who shot him. Staten Island DA Daniel Donovan said, "While we respect the verdict of the jury, it is my belief that we presented a clear and compelling case which satisfied each element of the crimes for which Rebekah Johnson was indicted," but Johnson's mother said, "The jury said it all. The one that is guilty is Jeff [Gross]. He killed her mentally, physically and psychologically." As for Gross, he told the Daily News, "Am I afraid for my life? Of course I am."