News Releases

November 20, 2014: Downey Man Pleads in Stabbing Death

Sarah Ardalani, Public Information Officer

A 38-year-old man accused of fatally stabbing another man pleaded no contest yesterday afternoon, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced. 

William Johnson (dob 2/5/76) of Downey pleaded no contest to a felony count of voluntary manslaughter in case VA134192. The defendant also admitted a special allegation that he personally used a deadly and dangerous weapon, a knife. 

Johnson is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 24 in Department J of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Norwalk Branch. He is expected to be sentenced to 12 years in state prison. 

Deputy District Attorney Don Syn, who prosecuted the case, said on March 4 the defendant and the victim, Darin Sivley, 53, were at an acquaintance’s home. 

While there, Sivley began to irritate the homeowner, who wanted him to leave, the prosecutor said. As a result, Johnson pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim in the upper arm. The puncture severed a major artery and Sivley began to bleed profusely, the prosecutor added. 

A tourniquet was placed on the victim’s arm and he left the home on his bicycle to go to the hospital. However, Sivley ultimately collapsed on the street and died. 

Two days after the incident, Johnson was arrested in connection with Sivley’s death and held on $1 million bail. 

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.