A Freeport man was arrested Tuesday in the stabbing death of his father during an argument after the victim’s sister heard the dispute while on the phone with her brother and dialed 911, authorities said.
By the time officers arrived at the Laurette Lane home in Freeport Russell Johnson, 55, shared with his son Jordan, 24, the CBS employee had sustained a fatal stab wound, Nassau police said Wednesday.
They took Jordan Johnson — described by his attorney as having “mental health issues” — into custody at the home Tuesday, police said.
Johnson appeared in a Hempstead courtroom Wednesday to be arraigned on a second-degree murder charge.
He stood before Judge Scott H. Siller in First District Court wearing a white jailhouse jumpsuit.
His Legal Aid attorney entered a not-guilty plea and Siller ordered him held without bail. Johnson had been “diagnosed with several mental health issues,” his lawyer said, but didn’t elaborate.
Relatives and neighbors described Jordan Johnson as clean-cut until his appearance and behavior changed drastically a few years ago.
The 2009 Freeport High School graduate studied at SUNY Binghampton before leaving and returning home, a cousin said Wednesday.
Neighbors said his behavior seemed peculiar. He would walk around in a winter coat with a fur-lined hood pulled over his face — even in the heat of the summer.
Tony Ellis and his wife, Diann Ellis, said they often saw a man wandering in a winter coat on a hot day, but didn’t realize it was Jordan Johnson until a year ago, partly because the hood hid his face.
“You take note of a guy wearing a parka in the summer,” Tony Ellis said.
Diann Ellis described him as “a clean-cut guy, a nice-looking kid. Then he had long hair and he was messy.”
Nassau police provided few details about what led up to the killing Tuesday.
”Obviously it was something that disturbed both of them severely for it to end like this,” Det. Capt. John Azzata said Wednesday. Police did not say whether they recovered the weapon used in the stabbing.
The elder Johnson worked for “CBS This Morning,” assigned to the division that coordinates video for the program’s news segments. Wednesday, an anchorman on the show, Jeff Glor, paid tribute to Johnson during the broadcast.
Before his most recent position with CBS, Russell Johnson had spent decades at the network, beginning in the radio section, Glor said, before telling viewers “Our thoughts this morning are with his family.”
Relatives and neighbors both said Russell Johnson had an extensive vinyl record collection, which took up an entire basement wall.
A devotee of jazz and, for a time, known as “Rusty J,” a local event DJ, he had attended Adelphi University, said his nephew, Isaiah Johnson of Baldwin.
“Very full of life,” said Isaiah Johnson.
His uncle was always there, whether it was to teach him how to ride a bike, or to go on a camping or snowboarding trip, Isaiah Johnson said. And always with a smile.
“I’ve never seen the guy angry,” Johnson said of his uncle.
With Nicole Fuller