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Fort Washakie man charged with First Degree Murder in Saturday shooting

Koby Dean Johnson was in federal court this morning in Lander for his initial appearance related to Saturday's fatal shooting in Fort Washakie. Johnson is charged with the first degree murder of his estranged wife Rachel Noel Saport, also known as Rachel Noel Johnson. (Note: There were conflicting spellings of her maiden name in court today.) The crime is punishable by up to life imprisonment. A detention hearing, where any bond discussion will occur, has been held off to a later date. The first degree murder charges alleges that Johnson purposely, maliciously and with premeditation killed Rachel. U.S. Magistrate Judge Teresa McKee outlined the contents of the affidavit for Johnson. When FBI was initially notified, they were told a man had possibly shot and killed his wife in front of the couple's eight children at their home on Sond-So-Neep Road. The children range in age from four months to 13 years. FBI interviews with some of the children indicate that Johnson had been living at his mother's home but regularly came over to help care for them, which is why they let him in when he arrived on Nov. 21. They reportedly said their father appeared angry, kept one hand in his jacket, went directly to the back bedroom where Rachel was and locked the door. After hearing a disturbance, a couple of the children began trying to break into the room and were successful after the first shot was fired. But as they entered, they said they observed their mother still alive, but that Johnson fired a second shot, which killed her. Johnson then fled the home, and the children fled to a neighbor's house after calling 911. One of the children said their mother was holding a gun, and one of the older kids said they could distinguish between the sounds of their mother's and father's weapons, and they said they only heard their father's. The argument allegedly began over prescription medications. The children also believed that Johnson had been drinking again after years of sobriety, and one of them also said they thought Johnson believed their mother was cheating on him. A friend of Rachel's, upon seeing photos of the home on local media, went to the scene and gave law enforcement background on the couple's relationship. She said the two fought often and described physical abuse that Rachel had related to her. The friend said Johnson would steal his wife's medication. She also relayed other information about firearms that Johnson might have on him. Johnson turned himself in to the Wind River Police on Sunday afternoon. A photo of Johnson was not immediately available. #county10 #news