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Tribblet Speaks the Truth

Authored by Brian Vickers, CCNM Photojouralist

Joan Tribblet
Joan Tribblet


Recently, Joan Tribblet (WIDOC Inmate at Logan Correctional Center) sat down with Brian Vickers of CCNEWS Media, for an exclusive one to one interview. In 2002 Joan Tribblet, and her co-defendant, Everette Johnson, were convicted of the 1997 murder of their 16-month old daughter-Oncwanique Tribblet. Tribblet, the live-in girlfriend of Everette Johnson, remembers the abuse she and her children suffered while living with him. At one point, Tribblet took her children and relocated to a battered women’s shelter in Toledo Ohio. Weeks later, Tribblet called her mother, Freddie Robinson, and told her that she was expecting another child. Her mother told her “you can come home, my door is always open.” A few days later, Tribblet’s mother sent her a bus ticket to come back home. Shortly after Tribblet gave birth to her son, Jonnas Johnson, the child’s father (Everette Johnson)  found out where she and the children were living, and started coming over to visit. When Johnson would visit Tribblet and the children, he would be disrespectful, he also told Tribblet that “he would kill her family members, if you she left him again.” Tribblet feared Johnson would actually killer her family members, so she moved back in with him.

Johnson Everette
Johnson Everette


After moving back in with Johnson, he began abusing Tribblet and their children again. On rare occasions whenJohnson would allow Tribblet to leave the house without him, she had to come back right away, or when she got home, Johnson would start arguing with her, and beating her. Often times when Tribblet would be at home with the children, Johnson would come home, and accuse Tribblet of having another man in the house, saying “I saw him from the window;” which gave Johnson another reason to beat her.
On December 19, 1997, at approximately 4 Am, 16 month old-Oncwanique Tribblet started crying. Johnson became frustrated with Oncwanique’s crying, and he began whipping her with a wooden paddle, which made Oncwanique cry even more. Then Johnson became enraged, and violently shook Oncwanique until she passed out. Tribblet and Johnson tried to revive Oncwanique, but she was unresponsive. Both Tribblet and Johnson were too afraid to call the Paramedics for help. Tribblet believes Oncwanique died of “Shaking Death Syndrome.” The next morning, Johnson left home with the lifeless body of Oncwanique, but he didn’t tell Tribblet where he was going. Johnson returned home hours later, with his pants covered in dirt, the first thing he told Tribblet was, “she’s at peace, she’s at rest.” Johnson also told Tribblet “I’ll never tell you what I did with her body.”
On June 9, 1998, Oncwanique’s Maternal Grandmother (Freddie Robinson) called the Police, and filed a missing person’s report; because she had not seen her Granddaughter for six months. Two days later, Police Detectives went to the home of Tribblet and Johnson (1600 block of West 56th Street), that’s when Tribblet, pregnant with her fifth child, broke down and confessed to her role in the death of her daughter Oncwanique. Tribblet also told Police, Johnson forced her to keep Oncwanique ‘s death a secret. Tribblet and Johnson were both arrested for the murder of their daughter, Oncwanique Tribblet. During questioning, Tribblet told the police after Johnson killed Oncwanique, he dismembered her body. Tribblet also told the Police, Johnson dissolved the baby’s remains in battery acid, and poured the remains down the sewer. Tribblet also stated she cooked parts of the child’s body, and Johnson feed the cooked remains to the dogs.
Tribblet was desperate to get away from her abuser, therefore, she made up the story about Johnson dismembering their daughter’s body, because “I thought if I told the Police something damaging, he would be the one to get locked up, and away from me, and my kids, so me and my kids wouldn’t be abused anymore.”Joan Tribblet On Saturday June 13th, Everette Johnson and Joan Tribblet were formally charged with first-degree-murder, and concealment of a homicide. Their remaining children (Shanice Tribblet, Everette Johnson, and Jonnas Johnson) were placed in DCFS custody.

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