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May 14, 2003

Deaf Akron teen charged in strangling of mentally ill woman

From: Canton Repository, OH - May 14, 2003

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — A 16-year-old deaf boy has been charged with raping and strangling a mentally ill woman in 2001.

Jerron Johnson of Akron was charged with delinquency by reason of aggravated murder and rape in the death of Jean Zienka, 45, of Akron, police said Tuesday. She was found dead in her home Oct. 5, 2001.

Police were investigating Johnson in three other crimes and recognized similarities between some of those cases and Zienka's death, said Lt. David Whiddon.

Johnson is accused of choking and raping a woman in November. DNA evidence at the scenes has been key in the investigation, detectives said.

Johnson has been in custody since March. He was arrested in a February incident in which a 13-year-old girl was spied on through her window.

Police said the victims gave similar descriptions of their attacker, including that he talked as though he couldn't hear and that they couldn't understand what he was saying.

Johnson's lawyer, Annette Powers, said she was still reviewing the case and getting acquainted with him.

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