A photo of Charity from her Facebook page, where she was listed under her alias "Charite" (Source: Facebook)
LONGVIEW, TX (KLTV) -
Understanding why a Longview woman chose to attend an area high school posing as a 15-year old is confusing on its own merit.
However, KLTV inadvertently contributed to that confusion during our 6pm newscast on Monday when we reported Johnson claimed to be the mother of two children.
While KLTV prefaced the story by saying we had not been able to verify that claim, we can now say it is untrue.
While researching why the 34-year-old Johnson chose to impersonate a teenager, a KLTV reporter found documents filed with the Gregg County Courthouse under the name “Charity Johnson.” Those documents show a Charity Johnson as the mother of two children.
A more thorough search revealed the person named in that paperwork is not the “Charity Johnson” who posed as a teenager.
One of Charity Johnson's former coworkers, Bria Cooper, said she and Charity talked on a daily basis. Cooper said Johnson came into work every day dressed in school clothes and would change into work clothes before starting her shift at McDonald's
"She looked like a teenager," Cooper told KLTV. "That's why I didn't know who she was when I saw her mugshot. She was looking all crazy. Her hair was everywhere."
Cooper says Johnson talked about saving her money to take a trip to California.
"She was going by herself. She was going to visit her mom, or something," Cooper remembered. "She was going to help her out and then come back."
This weekend, however, people at the House of Hope Women's Shelter in Longview said Johnson had told them both of her parents had died.
Recently, Cooper noticed Johnson hadn't come to work. She says she assumed Johnson had taken her trip to California. A manager told Cooper that Johnson had been fired for missing time at work.
"She didn't call in and she was out for four days," said Cooper.
A spokesperson for the school said Johnson was brought in to enroll with a person who was her guardian. She enrolled in the school, giving a date of birth that indicated she was 15. Staff at the school discovered her identification was fake. She had been a student there since October 2013.
Johnson is still in the Gregg County Jail where she is being held on a $500 bond.