Man charged with Belleville hair salon murders accused of stabbing fellow inmate

Samuel Johnson

BELLEVILLE, Ill. – A man awaiting trial for a March 2005 triple murder at a Belleville hair salon is facing new charges for allegedly stabbing a fellow inmate in jail.

According to Captain Bruce Fleshren, chief of investigations for the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, this incident occurred August 12 at the county jail.

The defendant, 53-year-old Samuel Johnson, is said to have fashioned a weapon out of a piece of metal and stabbed a 46-year-old detainee.

Jail staffers treated the injured detainee and confiscated the weapon. It’s not known how Johnson obtained or made the weapon.

Fleshren said the detainee eventually recovered from his injuries and was released from the jail.

Meanwhile, the St. Clair County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged Johnson with possession of a weapon in a penal institution, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and aggravated battery in a public place. His bond was set at $100,000 and he remains in custody at St. Clair County Jail.

Johnson was charged with three counts of first-degree murder in September 2016 for the stabbing deaths of sisters Dorothy Bone, 82, Doris Fischer, 79, and hair stylist Michael Cooney, 62. The victims were all found inside the hair salon at Cooney’s home.

At the time of the killing, police only charged Johnson with a previous attempted burglary of Cooney’s home. Prosecutors said they didn’t have enough evidence to charged Johnson with the murders.

Belleville police relaunched their investigation in 2014, which resulted in the murder charges being filed.

Johnson had been serving a seven-year term in a Missouri prison on gun, drug, and other charges. He was extradited to St. Clair County in March 2017.

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