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Man Charged After Domestic Dispute Turns Deadly

A Rockford man is charged with first degree murder after a domestic dispute turns deadly.

ROCKFORD- Candles and flowers line the front steps of a Rockford apartment at 1014 15th Street in memory of Savannah Johnson, 24.

The Winnebago County Coroner’s Office reports she died of a gunshot wound and stabbing.

According to neighbors her death happened at the hands of her boyfriend Jamie Key, 26.

"I think it's sad that she wasn't able to get out sooner and felt the need to stay in the relationship," said Johnson’s Coworker Joanne Hood.

Key is now charged with two counts of first degree murder and two counts of intent to commit first degree murder. And not just for the death of Johnson. According to Rockford Police Key knowingly fired a gun at a man named Phillip Benjamin.

Domestic violence is just one reason places like Remedies at 516 Green St. in Rockford serve as a safe haven.

"When you go into a relationship you go into it because it's good. And suddenly you start to get little hints that it's not so good. And then you doubt yourself,” said Remedies’ VP of Operations Karen Gill.

Many women tell Gill it's not just physical abuse.

"The emotional abuse of being so put down and denigrated all the time is harder to heal than a bruise or a laceration to their face or something like that," said Gill.

She recommends having a safety plan, tell friends to check-in, and file an order of protection if needed.

She says if you think a friend or coworker is in an abusive relationship to speak up. "First of all tell them you don't deserve this. No one deserves this. And that there's help available and I’m here to see that you access that help. "

Key will appear in court again on June 11th at the Winnebago County Justice Center.

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