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Sacramento DA: Man stabbed woman for trying to escape after nearly a year of trafficking

An investigation uncovered Johnnie Cokley kidnapped and stabbed a woman he was trafficking in 2019 and 2020 from California to Arizona. His sentencing is June 9.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Sacramento jury recently convicted Johnnie Cokley of numerous charges related to a woman he was accused of victimizing and trafficking for at least nine months between 2019 and 2020.

The case began on March 22, 2020 after a woman showed up to a Sacramento firehouse with a life-threatening stab wound. She was taken to a hospital and told police she had been trafficked almost a year by Cokley and was stabbed trying to escape.

A previous escape attempt also resulted in Cokley kidnapping her from a shopping center parking lot, she testified to a Sacramento jury.

According to officials, surveillance video gathered from an investigation in Phoenix, Arizona showed Cokley beating the victim to the point of unconsciousness at a convenience store before leaving her there.

Authorities said Cokley was eventually taken into custody on April 9, 2020 after evading police during their first attempt to bring him to custody. Police also found multiple boxes of firearm ammunition in a car he previously abandoned.

Cokley was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon, human trafficking, pimping, pandering, kidnapping, two counts of felony evasion and being a felon in possession of ammunition.

He faces a maximum potential sentence of 57 years in state prison. The hearing is set for June 9.

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