UPDATE: Man Found Guilty of Killing Girlfriend

Published 05/03 2014 06:32PM

Updated 05/27 2015 10:38AM

UPDATE (5/26/15): Jamie Key was found guilty of first degree murder today as well as aggravated domestic battery; he faces life in prison.

A status hearing is set for July 16th.

UPDATE (4:14pm): Key entered a plea of not guilty in a Winnebago County Courtroom Wednesday.  He's due back in court July 7.

UPDATE (2:02pm): Key is charged with two counts each of 1st degree murder and intent to commit 1st degree murder.  His bond is set at $2 million.  Key's next court date is June 11.

UPDATE (5/5/14): Key is scheduled to be in court Monday at 1:30pm.

ROCKFORD - A 24-year-old woman was found dead in her apartment on Rockford’s East side Saturday morning after Rockford police responded to a disturbance call. .
"The first scream I heard, it was like a cry for help," said a next-door neighbor, who heard the domestic dispute escalate.  That cry for help was the last thing that neighbors heard before 24-year-old Savannah Johnson was allegedly shot and killed by her 26-year-old boyfriend Jamie Key.

Assistant Deputy Chief Doug Pann of the Rockford Police Department, said, “When the officers arrived, they located a 24-year-old Rockford woman inside of the apartment deceased. There were children present in the house at the time that the incident happened.”

It only took the Rockford Police Department four hours to locate Key, who was inside of an apartment building a few blocks away, but getting him to surrender took longer.  "We asked him to come out of the apartment, he refused, and six hours later, he surrendered to the police. He was not injured in the incident, and neither were any of the police officers” said Deputy Chief Doug Pann.

Joanne Hood worked with Savannah at Morning Glory Cafe in Rockford, and said she watched her friend struggle with a domestically abusive relationship.  "There was different times that she had marks on her, and she would only tell a certain few of us what was going on in her relationship."

Although many of her friends would ask about the black eyes and bruises, Hood said Savannah seemed to feel stuck in the relationship.  "You think you love the person so much that you should stay, but if they loved you, they wouldn’t hit you, and they wouldn’t kill you,” Hood says. 

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