JSO: Jacksonville grandmother killed by her 24-year-old neighbor

Police say Darnell Johnson, 24, killed Jacksonville grandmother Shirley Blakely, 54, in her own Westside home on Beaverbrook Place last week.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office says officers arrived at the home just after midnight Wednesday, June 6.

Officers say Blakely was pronounced dead on the scene after being found with multiple injuries.

Her family tells Action News Jax reporter Ryan Nelson she was stabbed seven times.

Johnson’s charged with second-degree murder with a depraved mind.

He’s also charged with weapon- and drug-related charges, not having a driver’s license and criminal mischief.

Blakely’s husband, Michael Blakely, says life without her will never be the same.

“I went to work, I had a wife… I came home, I ain’t have no wife,” he said. “So it’s hard. I’m taking it day by day.”


Blakely says he’s grateful Johnson’s been charged with murder but says there’s a long road to healing.

“I miss my wife,” said Blakely. “And I can’t hold her no more like I used to.”

Blakely's son, Michael Daniels, says an arrest and possible conviction could never replace his mother. 
"It's good that they got him, I understand that, but it still won't bring my mama back."

The family says Daniels, who lives nearby, rushed to the scene to help his mother.

They told Nelson she took her final breath in his arms. He’s praying other families never have to experience this pain.

“I don’t wish that on nobody, what I discovered,” he said.

Court records show Johnson was arrested for cocaine possession in 2017, placed on probation and found guilty after violating his probation.

We also found records of a 2018 drug arrest, but those charges were later dropped.

Johnson’s mother told Nelson by phone she was aware her son had been charged with murder but she did not wish to comment on the case.

Johnson’s next court date is set for June 24. He’s not eligible for a bond.

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