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Bond set at $5 million for neighbor charged in murder of Elgin artist

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Updated: April 20, 2013 6:15AM

Bail was set at $5 million Monday for a two-time ex-convict charged in the March 2 stabbing murder of artist Lisa Koziol-Ellis in her Elgin home.

Paul A. Johnson, 34, lived on the opposite end of a four-unit town home block where the victim lived with her husband, Dash Ellis.

Johnson was charged with four counts of first-degree murder, one count of home invasion, and one count of residential burglary, police said. Johnson was being held in the Kane County jail in lieu of bail. If convicted, he could face 20 to 100 years in prison on the charges.

According to a police report, a witness told detectives on Friday that he had several conversations with Johnson during which he admitted to using a screw driver to break into the victim’s home and intended to steal a “DVD player or something like that.” During the break-in, Johnson was confronted by Koziol-Ellis, 33, and he used the screwdriver to stab her, “then got a knife from inside the residence to continue to stab her until she was dead,” the report said.

Johnson is accused of leaving the residence, then later returning in an attempt to “clean up the scene.”

Ellis found his wife’s body in their home when he returned from work on March 2.

Johnson had been living in the nearby town home since he was had been released from his last stint in prison last year, neighbors said. Johnson was arrested at his home Friday evening by officers from Elgin’s Tactical Response Unit.

According to the Illinois Department of Corrections, Johnson was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2000, when he was 21, on an armed robbery charge in Cook County. He was paroled and was charged with residential burglary in Elgin in June 2010 and was sentenced to four years in prison. He was paroled on Jan. 20, 2012.

Koziol-Ellis and Dash Ellis had moved to Elgin from Chicago just three days before she was killed.

She was an avant garde artist and jewelry maker. Going by the nickname “Foxy Goat” and covered with tattoos, Koziol-Ellis and her husband had sold arts and crafts at Elgin’s Monster Mash Up festival last summer. She reportedly was well-known in the Chicago arts and entertainment community, sometimes emceeing shows and parties.

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