Husband charged with murder-for-hire claims he was framed

(top row) Tristan Reeder, Joseph Apodaca (bottom row) Anthony Christopher Johnson, Robert Burnett

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — It’s a case of ultimate betrayal.

Court documents say a man hired three others to kill his wife who was 8 months pregnant at the time. Those records allege Anthony Johnson hired Tristan Reeder, Robert Burnett, and Joseph Apodaca to murder his wife for insurance money.

According to court documents, after midnight on Aug. 22 officers were dispatched to the Colony Point apartments on a home invasion call. Police say they found 19-year-old Elizabeth Shelton unconscious on the floor in her bedroom. She had extensive facial damage and difficulty breathing.

Video: Full interview with Anthony Johnson from jail

“I went to bed with my wife and woke up to being choked out and hearing my wife screaming,” From jail Anthony Johnson swears he had no idea Robert Burnett and Tristan Reeder would break into his home.

“I met them back in January they were all homeless,” Johnson said. “I’m just a person with a big heart so I tried helping them.”

But search warrants said Burnette and Reeder broke in as part of a murder for hire plot. Reeder insists he pretended to choke Johnson, while Burnette brutally assaulted Elizabeth Johnson who was 8 months pregnant. We spoke with Johnson’s wife who believes her husband.

“He called my mother from jail and told her it wasn’t true,” Elizabeth Johnson said. “She told me he’s innocent. I didn’t have to ask him, I believed him.”

The men, along with Joseph Apodaca, said Anthony Johnson hired them to kill her in exchange for insurance money. The Johnsons both deny that.

“I believe they did this because we kicked them out of our apartment the night before the attack,” Elizabeth Johnson said. “I believe they were mad.”

Elizabeth Johnson finds herself in the middle of a murder for hire plot, and she’s alone with their daughter, 3-week old Ember Rose

“It’s been real hard not being able to hold my baby and being in here when I didn’t even do anything wrong,” Anthony Johnson said.

Listen to Elizabeth Johnson’s full interview below:

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