Man faces murder charge accused of using dating apps to target Metro Detroit’s LGBTQ community

Wayne County District Attorney Kym Worthy on Wednesday announced murder and armed robbery charges against a 24-year-old Indianapolis man who prosecutors say has targeted members of the LGBTQ community in Metro Detroit via online dating applications.

Diabolical Paris Johnson was indicted Tuesday in two separate cases starting in September, according to a statement from Worthy’s office.

On September 1, prosecutors said Johnson robbed a 26-year-old Detroit man while armed from a Dearborn hotel in the 24100 block of Michigan Avenue. Johnson is accused of taking personal property from the man during the theft. Johnson was not in custody when he was charged with one count of armed robbery on September 21.

On September 5, Johnson allegedly killed a 39-year-old man in an armed robbery in the 16800 block of Woodbine in Detroit. Prosecutors charged Johnson with one count of first degree murder and one count of firearms in the incident.

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Victims in both cases were targeted online on dating apps for being members of the LGBTQ community, the prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday. More details and evidence in the case will be placed on the court file during the preliminary examination, the office said.

A police investigation in Dearborn, Detroit and Indianapolis led to Johnson’s arrest. He was extradited from Indiana and was due to arrive in Michigan later Wednesday.

Johnson was arraigned on Wednesday in the Dearborn armed robbery case in the 18th Dearborn District Court. He was refused bail and was jailed. He is due to return to court in the Dearborn case on March 12.

Johnson faces a murder and armed robbery indictment in Detroit on Thursday in Detroit’s 36th District Court, authorities said on Wednesday.

The prosecutor’s office has partnered with the Fair Michigan Justice Project, which helps Michigan law enforcement agencies solve crimes against the LGBTQ community.

Fair Michigan president Alanna Maguire called the use of dating apps to target victims “disturbing.”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel created a hate crimes unit in her office in 2019 to investigate and prosecute hate crimes that include victims targeted based on race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity. As part of this department, Nessel offered to assist county prosecutors in the state with hate crime prosecutions.

The Johnson case represents the first joint venture between the GA’s office and the Wayne County District Attorney’s Office.

“I am proud to stand with the worthy prosecutor and the Fair Michigan Justice Project in announcing these charges today,” Nessel said in the statement. “I hope this case marks the start of a long partnership focused on bringing justice to some of our most vulnerable communities.

Worthy said she had assigned Wayne County Assistant District Attorney LaDonna Logan to work with the Fair Michigan Justice Project on these cases.

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