Anya Johnston Facing 20-to-Life for Killing Neighbor: DA

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Manhattan D.A. Bragg has announced the sentencing of 29-year-old Anya Johnston for the murder of her upstairs neighbor.

In October 2018, then-24-year-old Johnston stabbed 70-year-old Susan Trott at 710 West End Avenue (between 94th and 95th streets), where they both lived.

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Earlier this year, a New York Supreme Court jury found Johnston guilty on one count of Murder in the Second Degree, and on Wednesday, she was sentenced to a term of 20 years-to-life in state prison.

“Anya Johnston callously took the life of her neighbor Susan Trott, a lifelong New Yorker with a kind-hearted, generous spirit,” said District Attorney Bragg. “To Ms. Trott’s family and loved ones, Johnston robbed them of a friend, mentor and business partner. Since her loss, they have experienced overwhelming emotional pain, and I hope today’s sentence can offer them a sense of justice knowing Johnston has been held accountable.”

Johnston’s mental health issues were addressed at the trial. She had also reportedly “fantasized about committing a murder.”

After running some errands and closing her bank account on October 17, 2018, Johnston returned home and “went to Ms. Trott’s apartment, carrying a backpack, which contained two knives and latex gloves.” There, she removed one of the knives from her bag and fatally stabbed Trott in her lower back and neck.

Trott’s business partner was unable to reach her for several days and eventually sought help from the police. A wellness check conducted four days after the murder led to the NYPD’s discover of Trott’s body.

On October 22, NYPD officials conducted a court-authorized search warrant of Johnston’s apartment and found several items – including the clothing she was wearing at the time of the incident – which were covered in Trott’s DNA.

Johnston was arrested on October 31, 2018.

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“Sue was a born and raised NYCer and it showed through in everything she did,” said Trott’s friend and business associate in an impact statement. “Though she would never admit she had an NYC accent. Underneath her tough exterior, Sue was probably the most generous person I knew. She would give you the shirt off her back and then go and buy you a new outfit to match. And she did even more for animals, especially dogs. She loved all animals and once even rescued a rat from the subway platform. She wouldn’t even kill flies or spiders. Sue started a pit bull rescue charity and would go into crackhouses in Harlem to rescue them. We even did work for a bird rescue organization. And learning from the trial of Anya, this is why Sue was murdered. Anya, in a time of need, sought out Sue’s caring nature and fellow lover of animals. Then she chose to murder Sue when she offered her comfort and help.”

Read the full statement here.


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