Runners remember David Stevens. Photo by Rasy Ran

The former Texas A&M football player who confessed to killing running enthusiast David Stevens on White Rock Trail near the Walnut Hill underpass in Lake Highlands goes on trial today/Monday. Since October 12, 2015 when Thomas Johnson hacked Stevens to death with a machete, Johnson has been in jail or receiving treatment for mental illness. He appeared in court Friday and told the judge he’s now aware of the charges he’s facing and prepared to face trial. The jury was selected last week.

Stevens was 53 on that terrible day, with friends in the running community and a wife, Patti, who deeply loved him. A few days later, Patti committed suicide, unable to bear his loss.

After the brutal killing, Johnson told random passersby what he had done, and he told first responders he had just “committed capital murder.” During his troubled past he fought schizophrenia, but he had the help of many, including a couple who took him in to help him graduate Skyline High and get into Texas A&M.

Johnson’s lawyers haven’t yet revealed whether they’ll claim insanity as a defense.

Thomas Johnson