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Indiana Man Sentenced to Prison on Homicide, Robbery and Weapons Charges

LANSING – An Indianapolis man has been sentenced in felony cases related to targeting members of the LGBTQ community, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced today in conjunction with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and Fair Michigan Justice Project (FMJP).

Diabolique Paris Johnson, 35, of Indianapolis, IN, was sentenced in Wayne County Circuit Court. He was first charged last year.

On case number 21-2770-FC, he was sentenced to 25 to 45 years for second degree murder and two years to be served consecutively for felony firearm.

On case number 21-1219-FC, he was sentenced for armed robbery to 15 to 30 years, which will run concurrent to the murder case.

Background Information on the Cases

FMJP is a program that assists Michigan law enforcement officers and prosecutors in solving serious crimes against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgender persons.

On September 1, 2020, it is alleged that Johnson committed an armed robbery of a 26-year-old man, of Detroit, that occurred at a hotel located in the 24130 block of Michigan Avenue in Dearborn, MI. It is alleged that the man had his personal property taken during the robbery. The defendant was not in custody when he was charged with one count of armed robbery on September 21, 2020.

On September 5, 2020, at a location in the 16800 block of Woodbine in Detroit, it is alleged that Johnson murdered a 39-year-old man, of Detroit, during an armed robbery. 

It is alleged that the victims in both cases were targeted on online dating apps because they were members of the LGBTQ community. 

From September 1, 2020, until December 4, 2020, police officers from Dearborn, Detroit, and Indianapolis IN, conducted an investigation that led to Johnson’s arrest in Indianapolis.  

“I am proud to partner with Prosecutor Worthy and Fair Michigan to deliver justice for vulnerable populations that find themselves the target of bias-motivated crimes,” said Nessel. “Hate crimes threaten entire communities and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”  

“It is important to continue to acknowledge that crimes against the LBGTQ community are ignored and are not thoroughly investigated.  This is no longer the case in Wayne County thanks to our partnership formed in 2016 with Fair Michigan Justice Project (FMJP).  Police agencies in Detroit, Dearborn and Indianapolis, IN, worked together to investigate this case and to bring Defendant Johnson to justice. This is a significant conviction for the project,” said Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

"This case shows how important community partnerships can be in securing justice for victims from marginalized communities.  We are proud to work with Prosecutor Worthy and Attorney General Nessel, and we hope this sentence brings some measure of comfort to the family of Joshua Smelser," said Fair Michigan Justice Project President Alanna Maguire.

Through Nessel’s Hate Crimes Unit, cases are investigated and prosecuted in instances where victims are targeted based on race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, and gender identity. As part of that initiative, AG Nessel has offered county prosecutors across the state assistance with their hate crimes prosecutions. The Johnson cases represent the first joint undertaking between AG Nessel and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy in that effort.


Please note: The Attorney General’s office does not provide photos of defendants.