No charges will be filed against a Rathdrum man in the Sept. 24 stabbing death of his daughter’s boyfriend, Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney Barry McHugh announced Wednesday.
Based on the investigation by the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Department, 47-year-old Scott A. Johnson was acting in self-defense when he fatally stabbed Brandon S. DeLuca after an argument in their Rathdrum home.
“This is a tragedy that no one, including the Johnson family, wanted to take place,” McHugh said in a news release. “In some cases, it is a difficult decision, but the appropriate decision, to take no action. This is one of those cases.”
The incident began when DeLuca and his 23-year-old girlfriend, Jenna Johnson, got into an argument. Scott Johnson intervened when he thought the argument had escalated to a physical confrontation, according to the news release.
A fight then erupted between the two men and DeLuca choked Johnson until he became dizzy and agreed the fight was over. Johnson demanded that DeLuca leave the trailer they shared at 2215 E. Highway 53 in Rathdrum. When he refused, Johnson went into his room to call 911.
Fearing another fight with DeLuca, Johnson held a knife as he tried to call police. DeLuca came into the room, saw that he was holding the knife, and asked Johnson if he was going to stab him, according to the release.
Johnson said no, and DeLuca then began taunting him, holding up his shirt and telling him to go ahead and stab him. Johnson did nothing and DeLuca left the room.
While Johnson was still on the phone, DeLuca came back in the room and lunged at him.
Johnson ducked and swung the knife, piercing DeLuca’s heart. DeLuca died shortly after. DeLuca and Jenna Johnson have a 1-year-old son who lived with them and Johnson’s parents. DeLuca is the grandson of Kootenai County Deputy Coroner Jody DeLuca Hissong.