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Crime & Courts

Father of Anchorage 5-year-old who died of self-inflicted gunshot wound faces federal charge

  • Author: Lisa Demer
  • Updated: December 7
  • Published December 6

This story has been updated. Read the most recent version here.

Updated, 2:15 p.m. Wednesday:

Anthony Johnnson was approved for house arrest on a charge being a felon in possession of a gun and will be under the 24-watch of his fiancee, Jualisa House, the mother of the child.

Both spoke in federal court on Wednesday, and both were composed but tense. House said the gun was for the protection of herself and their child, but after what happened, she wants nothing to do with firearms.

Magistrate Judge Kevin McCoy approved the arrangement, which allows Johnnson to help with funeral preparations and attend the service, which is set for Saturday.

Another hearing was set for Monday to address whether Johnnson can remain out of jail.

Original story:

The father of a 5-year-old Anchorage boy who died Tuesday from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head is a felon and wasn't supposed to have a gun, according to federal court filings. That includes the one that killed his son.

He now faces a federal weapons charge, according to federal prosecutors.

Anthony L. Johnnson has a felony record for drug possession, according to a sworn statement filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

Early Tuesday morning, his son, Christian, took a handgun from a bedroom nightstand, then shot and killed himself, according to Anchorage police. The new charges describe the gun as a .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol.

Johnnson is charged with violating a federal prohibition against felons having guns. He was scheduled to appear Wednesday afternoon in federal court.

Around 12:20 a.m. Tuesday, the child's mother, identified in the federal court records as Jualisa House, was preparing food and Anthony Johnnson was elsewhere in the home when she heard a shot, according to Anchorage police.

Police found Christan Johnson dead in the master bedroom from a gunshot to the head, the sworn statement says.

Police got a warrant and searched the house, seizing items that included the pistol, 22 .40-caliber rounds recovered from the kitchen counter, 17 .40-caliber rounds found in a bag in a kitchen cabinet, an automatic rifle-style magazine with more rounds in a cabinet, and 43 9mm rounds recovered from a night stand.

The mother, father and child all lived in the East Anchorage apartment at 5740 Rocky Mountain Court, the federal court filing says.

Correction: In an earlier version of this story, Christan Johnson's name was misspelled.

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