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Headless Torso and Arms Found in N.Y.C. Home Leads to Arrest of Criminal Justice Reform Advocate

Sheldon Johnson, 48, was charged with murder and pleaded not guilty

<p>Theodore Parisienne for NY Daily News via Getty Images</p> Sheldon Johnson

Theodore Parisienne for NY Daily News via Getty Images

Sheldon Johnson

A criminal justice reform advocate who once served 25 years in prison for attempted murder was charged with murder Thursday in New York City after authorities found a headless torso in a Bronx apartment.

The New York Times, NBC New York and ABC 7 reported that the New York City Police Department made the discovery Tuesday. Two days later, police arrested Sheldon Johnson, 48, the outlets reported.

The victim was identifed as Collin Small, 44, reported NBC. The outlet also reported that police said neighbors in Small’s building heard gunshots coming from his apartment and allegedly saw a man coming and going from the building with cleaning supplies.

ABC reported that after searching the apartment, police allege that they found the victim’s head and legs in a freezer.

Johnson, a former Bloods gang member, has spoken publicly about turning his life around in prison and has since worked as a counselor for Queens Defenders, a public defenders’ office, according to the Times. In February, Johnson appeared on The Joe Rogan Experience, talking about his journey.

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Johnson is now charged with manslaughter, weapon possession, concealment of a human corpse and criminal contempt, in addition to murder, the outlets reported.

NBC reported that my Johnson was arraigned Thursday and pleaded not guilty. 

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