Man accused of murdering Aloha woman pleads not guilty - KPTV - FOX 12

Man accused of murdering Aloha woman pleads not guilty

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Jeremiah Ward Johnston in court Thursday (KPTV) Jeremiah Ward Johnston in court Thursday (KPTV)
Sara Zghoul (Family photo/KPTV) Sara Zghoul (Family photo/KPTV)
HILLSBORO, OR (KPTV) -

The man accused of killing an Aloha mother, with her body found in a car days later, was arraigned on a grand jury indictment Thursday.

Court documents state Jeremiah Ward Johnston, 35, killed and dismembered the body of 28-year-old Sara Zghoul. 

The indictment alleges Johnston committed murder and abuse of a corpse on Jan. 20. 

Washington County deputies said on they got word of a possible homicide where the victim’s body had been left inside a car on Jan. 25. They searched searched a neighborhood in Aloha and found the car involved near Southwest Sarala St. and Hargis Road.

They searched the car and found Zghoul’s body. Later that night, they found the suspect near Southwest Murray Blvd and Teal Blvd and took him into custody.

On Thursday, Johnston’s attorney asked the judge to not allow news cameras in the courtroom. He said seeing Johnston in his jail suit and the extensive media coverage could taint the jury pool. The judge denied the request saying the courtroom was open to the public and members of the media are not exempt.

Johnston entered a not guilty plea to the charges of murder and abuse of a corpse. He’s currently in the Washington County Jail without bail and will be back in court in late February for a status hearing.

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