The Christmas day rape and murder of Tricia McCauley, which rocked the DC theatre community, has resulted in the confession and sentencing of Duane Johnson, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia announced today.
The press release reports: “Johnson, 30, formerly of Washington, D.C., pled guilty in September 2017, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to a charge of first-degree felony murder. The plea, which was contingent upon the Court’s approval, called for an agreed-upon sentence of 30 years in prison. The Honorable Hiram E. Puig-Lugo accepted the plea and sentenced Johnson accordingly. Following his prison term, Johnson will be placed on 30 years of supervised release and he will be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.”
Members of the theatre community realized that Tricia McCauley, a much loved actress seen on local stages including Washington Stage Guild’s, was missing on Christmas Day when she emailed friends she was on her way to a Christmas celebration and never arrived. When her cell phone was found on the street, friends spread out along her route searching for any sign of her.
Jonathan Padgett, former critic and arts editor for MetroWeekly, saw photos of McCauley’s car posted on Facebook, came upon the car and called the police, who quickly apprehended Johnson in a nearby pharmacy.
Deborah Randall, artistic director of Venus Theater has paid a public tribute to her long time friend by dedicating Venus’s 2017 season to her memory. And it is in that same spirit that we bring you the news that the man who so brutally and senselessly took her life, has been brought to justice.