3 say man spoke of killing parents Friends testify against Dietz in murder trial.

January 14, 1992|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Evening Sun Staff

Three friends of accused murderer Johnny Dietz have testified that he talked about "blowing away" his parents just a few weeks before the bodies of his mother and father were found in a bedroom in their farmhouse.

Each parent had been repeatedly stabbed and blasted in the stomach point-blank with a shotgun.

Yvonne Bohn, 22, Dietz's former girlfriend, told a Baltimore County Circuit Court jury yesterday that over dinner at a Pizza Hut, the defendant talked about slaying his parents and making it appear to be a murder-suicide.

"He said he could make it look like a murder-suicide because his mother tried to kill herself before. He said he could blame it on his mother," Bohn said.

Under cross-examination, Bohn admitted that during the same dinner conversation, she suggested they cut the brake lines on Dietz's parents' truck.

"He said, 'But maybe my mother won't be in the truck,' " Bohn said.

Bohn said that she was joking about the brake lines because "I thought he was joking."

Dietz, 28, is being tried on first-degree murder charges in the deaths of John G. Dietz Jr. and Lillian Dietz, both 63. Their bodies were discovered Oct. 28, 1990.

Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty if Dietz is convicted by the jury of seven men and five women.

The case was to continue today, with prosecutors playing tape-recorded conversations between Dietz and Bohn.

Jim Gentry, one of two prosecutors, quoted from the taped transcripts in his opening statement. " 'I learned that there's a very powerful force in all of us. There's a dark side in all of us. And it's never getting out again,' " Gentry read, quoting Dietz.

Leslie Stein, Dietz's attorney, countered in his opening statement that the tapes will show Bohn "relentlessly" trying to get Dietz to admit he killed his parents, to no avail. "Because he didn't do it," Stein said.

Yesterday, aside from Bohn's testimony, Barbara and Jeffrey Goschen, a couple who were friends of Dietz and his parents, both described an incident on Sept. 29, 1990, in which Dietz supposedly argued with his parents and threatened to "blow them away."

Lillian Dietz, testified Barbara Goschen, called her that night very upset. Lillian Dietz told her that her son had threatened to blow her away and said that the next time he saw his parents, they would be in "body bags," Barbara Goschen said.

Jeffrey Goschen testified that Dietz's parents asked that the Goschens come over to talk to their son. The Goschens, who live just a few blocks away from the Dietz farm on Inwood Avenue, drove to the farm that night.

According to Jeffrey Goschen, when they arrived, Johnny Dietz was"wide-eyed, sweating profusely. He was enraged. . . . He told me he was going to blow his parents away. He would see them in a body bag."

Jeffrey Goschen said he cautioned Dietz not to "burn bridges" with his parents. "He said, 'I don't care. They deserve what they get.' "

Under cross-examination, Jeffrey Goschen, who described Dietz as "my best friend" several times under direct questioning, was asked why he was such good friends with someone who spoke ill of his parents.

Jeffrey Goschen said he and Dietz had common interests, that they used to rock-climb together. "I thought I could trust him. I used to trust him with my life," the witness said.

What did he do to make you not trust him anymore, Stein asked.

"He murdered his parents," Jeffrey Goschen almost yelled. "He killed friends of mine."

When asked how he could be so sure, the witness replied, "It's damn obvious."

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