PHOENIX – The final chapter in the story of a failed business relationship came to a conclusion today when Judge Joseph Kreamer sentenced Chad Justin Norris (D.O.B. 7/21/1979) to a term of 18 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections for the 2012 murder of his business partner, Jason T. Johnson. The two men co-owned an auto body repair company, Scottsdale Auto Collision, which had locations in Scottsdale and Tempe. Norris was convicted of second degree murder on May 28, 2015. His wife, Tamara Norris, pled guilty to attempting to help him cover up his involvement in the crime. Johnson’s body was never found.
“This case serves to underscore the diligence of our prosecutors and law enforcement partners and our shared commitment to seek justice despite the defendant’s efforts to conceal the evidence of his crime and avoid accountability for his criminal actions,” said Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. “While the lengthy sentence imposed today is appropriate for the wrongful taking of an innocent life, no punishment can ever heal the wound this defendant has inflicted upon the victim’s family,” he added.
45-year-old Jason Johnson was last seen alive late in the afternoon of Friday, September 14, 2012 at the Tempe location of the business he and Norris owned. Employees later reported seeing the two men in a heated argument that day over unknown issues. After Jason failed to show up for several scheduled get togethers with friends and family members over the following weekend he was reported missing to the Tempe Police. He also failed to show up for work without contacting anyone, which was not his habit.
Investigators determined that there had been no bank account activity in Jason’s personal or business accounts, nor any cellphone activity. His black Toyota Camry remained at the Tempe location of the business where he had parked it the day he was last seen alive. Investigators then obtained a search warrant for the business and Jason’s vehicle and initiated surveillance of Chad Norris. The evidence collected as a result of the investigation indicated that Jason Johnson was shot inside the company premises by Chad Norris who subsequently disposed of the body.
On September 28, 2012, a Grand Jury indicted Norris on one count of second degree murder. After a 15-day bench trial in May, 2015, the court found him guilty as charged. Tamara Norris, pled guilty to attempting to hinder prosecution and will be sentenced on July 15.