ENGLEWOOD, NJ MAN SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS IN NEW JERSEY STATE PRISON FOR 2018 MURDER OF DAKOTA JOHNSON
For Immediate Release:
May 3, 2023
Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella announced that on April 28, 2023, TALEK LAWSON of Englewood, NJ was sentenced to 30 years in New Jersey State Prison after being convicted of murder, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and hindering apprehension in connection with the death of Dakota Johnson.
On December 12, 2018, TALEK LAWSON and co-defendants ZACHARY ANDERSON, JUSTIN DULA, and COREY MCKAY were at a bar in Bogota, NJ along with the victim, Dakota Johnson. After an altercation at the bar, LAWSON shot Dakota Johnson in the chest, killing him.
A trial began in March 2020, but the Court declared a mistrial due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On November 18, 2022, following a 6-week trial in which the State presented eyewitness testimony, as well as video surveillance and physical evidence, a jury convicted TALEK LAWSON of all counts. On April 28, 2023, the Honorable Margaret M. Foti, P.J.Cr., sentenced TALEK LAWSON to 30 years in New Jersey State Prison with a 30-year period of parole ineligibility for his crimes.
The State was represented by Chief Assistant Prosecutor Anthony Talarico of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crimes Unit and Assistant Prosecutor Stephen Bollenbach with the assistance of Assistant Prosecutor Christine Caputo-Howland and Detective Daniel Tanelli of the Major Crimes Unit.
Prosecutor Musella thanks the prosecution team for its perseverance and zealous advocacy for the victim and his family and for helping combat gang-related gun violence in Bergen County. Prosecutor Musella also commends the detectives of the Major Crimes Unit as well as members of the Bogota Police Department and the Bergen County Sherriff’s Office for their skill and professionalism in investigating this matter.