AUSTIN (KXAN) — In June 2014, a rock that came crashing through Kenneth Johnson’s windshield changed his entire life. He suffered severe brain damage and is still recovering. It’s difficult for Johnson to talk after suffering a stroke.
“He still only speaks a few words, he’s still learning how to read again, he started working again part-time, so he’s getting back into things but yeah. It’s gonna be years for his recovery,” Johnson’s aunt Julia Murphrey said. “He is getting gradually better, but it’s really slow.”
An August 2015 fundraiser was supposed to help cover the cost of that recovery, but Johnson never received the $6,800 he was owed. He decided to take the person who organized the fundraiser to court.
Johnson filed a petition for a small claims case in May 2017, after having his rights restored in April. Until then he was under guardianship, which was why he says the petition was just filed this year.
Alison Queen, a longtime friend of Johnson’s, took possession of the donations and, according to the petition, informed him and his family the money was missing in December 2015. Queen later accused her son of stealing the money.
“She gave a lot of different stories about how the money was missing and even said she filed a police report, and in the end she’s accused her son of stealing it,” Murphrey said.
In Queen’s response, she stated the family asked her to hold onto the money raised at the benefit because other family members weren’t trustworthy with money. Queen wrote that she kept the money under her bed for several months. She then didn’t want to be responsible for that large of a sum of money so made arrangements to meet up with one of Johnson’s family members. According to her response, that’s when she discovered the money was gone and later, her son admitted to taking “a few 20s” out of the box.
The response goes on to say, “I admitted responsibility for the money and have always wanted to get it back to him. The dynamics have made it very difficult. His guardians have changed multiple times and I have not been allowed any contact with Kenneth. He is one of my dearest friends and I want to get the money back to him.”
Johnson said the reasons Queen gave for not handing over the money changed multiple times and it took going to court to get anything done.
“Everybody there who donated their money, she stole from all of them,” Murphrey said. “I’m just glad Kenneth is finally going to get started getting his money back, I hope she follows through with that.”
The parties came to an agreement Tuesday during the trial. Queen will pay $100 a week until she pays back the $6,800.