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Man charged in 2021 Bloomington murder given 45 years

Police say 32 year old Teresa Michael was found dead in an apartment fire in Jan. 2021.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A Monroe County judge handed a 45-year prison sentence this week to the man who police tracked down to South Carolina after a January 2021 murder in Bloomington.

Eric Johnson, who was supposed to go on trial next week, pleaded guilty to murder in exchange for the other felony charges to be dropped.

On Jan. 28, 2021, Bloomington Police responded to an apartment on Basswood Drive for a fire.

After the fire was put out, investigators found the body of 32-year-old Teresa Michael, who died inside the apartment.

Four days after the fire, the Monroe County Coroner ruled Michael died from strangulation. Her death was ruled a homicide.

In the weeks that followed, police said Johnson was a person of interest in the murder and it was determined that he left Bloomington and was likely in Waycross, Georgia in Michael’s stolen Dodge Caliber.

On Feb. 9, 2021, as detectives were on the way to Waycross to locate Johnson, they learned he was heading north on a bus towards South Carolina.

BPD contacted detectives in Columbia, South Carolina, which investigators learned was the next stop for the bus.

When the bus arrived, Columbia Police located Johnson, and took him into custody on stolen vehicle charge.

He was later charged additionally with murder as well as arson and extradited to Bloomington.