Bemidji woman convicted in fatal 2020 shooting

A Bemidji woman was convicted Thursday in connection with a shooting in 2020 that left her brother-in-law, 48-year-old Jesse Farris, dead, according to a news release from Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, whose office prosecuted the case.

Janelle Johnson is in custody at Beltrami County Jail. She was found guilty of second-degree murder.

Beltrami County Jail

Beltrami County Attorney David L. Hanson requested the assistance of the Attorney General’s office in prosecution, according to the news release.

“I thank County Attorney Hanson for putting his trust in my office to prosecute this case in partnership with his office. I’m proud of the attorneys in the Attorney General’s Office and the Beltrami County Attorney’s Office who brought this case to a successful conviction. I’m also proud of our partnerships with county attorneys who are on the front lines of delivering justice to victims and communities. We stand at the ready to assist them and look forward to doing more,” Ellison said. “My thoughts today are with the family members who had to relive this terrible moment in their lives. I hope this conviction brings a measure of healing to them and the community.” 

As previously reported, early Christmas 2020, Johnson called the Beltrami County Dispatch Center and said that she and her husband went to Farris’ house in Bemidji to confront him about alleged domestic abuse against Johnson’s sister. An argument ensued, and Johnson said she shot Farris.

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Attorney General Ellison said that Farris had been shot three times, including in the back.