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Testimony: Dentist Invoked Names of Singer, Jesus After Killing

February 23, 1994

INDIANA, Pa. (AP) _ A dentist accused of stabbing his wife to death apparently had confused her with singer Amy Grant, a nurse testified Wednesday.

Dr. David Johns pleaded innocent by reason of insanity in the June 27 death of his wife, Marianne, at their home in White Township, about 50 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.

District Attorney Michael Handler is asking for a first-degree murder conviction but not the death penalty. The trial began Tuesday in Indiana County Common Pleas Court.

Police found Mrs. Johns with 20 stab wounds and later found Johns running naked down a street a mile away.

Roberta Clawson, an Indiana Hospital nurse, treated Johns that day for self-inflicted cuts on his wrists and chest. She said he quoted Bible passages while he rambled to himself.

″He was talking about Amy Grant. He seemed to have Amy Grant and his wife confused,″ Ms. Clawson said. She quoted him as saying that he thought his wife was in the body of Ms. Grant, who sings Christian and secular songs.

State Trooper George Goodrich, who arrested Johns, said the dentist identified himself as Jesus Christ and said he was immortal. He said Johns pointed to his wounds and said, ″I am resurrected.″

Trooper Owen Leonard said Johns repeated the phrase, ″Sex ’till you sleep is the key,″ during the arrest.

The couple’s two sons apparently slept through the killing and were not hurt.

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