Iceland Mag

3 Reykjavik

Iceland Mag

Crime

Icelandic-American man sentenced to 20.5 years in prison for 2012 Florida murder

By Staff

  • Magni Böðvar and the victim The 43 year old man has dual Icelandic-US citizenship. 

A 43 year old Icelandic national has been sentenced by a Florida court to 20.5 years in prison for murder. The man, who goes by the names Johnny Wayne Johnson and Magni Böðvar Þorvaldsson, was born in Florida to an Icelandic father and a American mother. He grew up in the US and Iceland, but according to Icelandic media he spent his most of his adult life in the US.

The murder case and sentence of Magni Böðvar is the front page story of local newspaper DV.

Bragged about the murder
Johnny Johnson/Magni Böðvar was sentenced for murdering a Sherry Prather, a 43 year old mother of two, on October 10 2012. She was last seen leaving a bar in Jacksonville with an unidentified white male. She was not heard from or seen after this. 

Her body was then found a month later in a wooded area after a tip from a relative of Magni. Two witnesses told Police they had heard Magni brag about the murder. Police arrested Magni in November 2016 and charged him with the murder of Sherry Prather. Magni maintained his innocence during interrogation, but was ultimately sentenced after pleading guilty in court. 

Johnny Johnson, Böðvar Magni, murder
Magni Böðvar The Icelandic-American goes by the name Johnny Wayne Johnson in the US

Prather died from a gunshot wound to the chest.

US-Icelander with a phony sounding accent
Magni's motive for the murder is unknown. According to the local Florida news station News 4 JAX Magni gave Police officers contradictory and confusing accounts of what he had done during the fateful night. The mother of the victim, Norma Ellis, told News 4 JAX "He told them so many different stories that they did not know what to believe. "I think he was just out to kill somebody and she was there. It was an opportunity for him to do it." 

Magni has a dual Icelandic an US citizenship. His father is an Icelandic citizen and his mother a US citizen. He moved to the town of Keflavík when he was five years old to live with his Icelandic grandparents. He moved back and forth between Iceland and the US until 2010 when his father passed away. Since then he has lived permanently in the US. Magni, who worked as a truck driver, had a criminal record. He served time for burglaries and theft, as well as several traffic violations.

According to Florida Police he speaks English with a "phony sounding Icelandic accent".

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