Man sentenced to life in prison for role in love triangle murder

TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa County District Attorney (DA) Stephen Kunzweiler announced Thursday that 29-year-old Nicholas Johnson was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of Sarah Maguire.

Johnson previously entered a blind plea of guilty to first-degree murder to Associate District Judge Cliff Smith in May. The judge set a five-year judicial review during his sentencing Thursday.

In his plea, Johnson confessed to beating Maguire to death with a crowbar, then having sex with the co-defendant, Brinlee Denison, on Maguire’s bed while hearing her struggle to breath in another room. Johnson then stole Maguire’s car and credit cards, and he fled to Arkansas with Denison.

They were both found by law enforcement in Arkansas.

“Sarah Maguire was one of Tulsa’s true citizens,” Kunzweiler said. “She had a giving and loving heart. She was stolen from our community due to the sinister and horrific actions of Nicholas Johnson. He deserves to spend every day contemplating the damage he has done to this family and to himself.”

He continued, “We’re grateful that Judge Smith agreed with our recommendation of life in prison without the possibility of parole.”

Denison is also charged with first degree-murder. Her jury trial is set for January 2023.

Maguire’s murder was the first homicide of 2022 in Tulsa.