‘Step Up’ Stand-In Murder: Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Tricia McCauley

Duane Johnson’s plea agreement calls for a 30-year prison sentence

Last Updated: September 15, 2017 @ 9:13 PM

A man accused of killing Tricia McCauley, the yoga instructor and actress who served as Jenna Dewan Tatum’s stand-in in the film “Step Up,” has pleaded guilty to the crime, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Former Washington, D.C. resident Duane Johnson, also known as Adrian Duane Johnson, pleaded guilty to first degree felony murder on Wednesday in connection to the Christmas 2016 killing of McCauley.

According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Johnson also sexually assaulted McCauley.

The 30-year-old Johnson’s plea, which is contingent on the court’s approval, calls for a 30-year prison sentence. Following Johnson’s prison term, he will be subjected to supervised release and be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

The U.S. attorney’s office said that McCauley left her Washington, D.C., home on Dec. 25, 2016 en route to a friend’s holiday party when she encountered Johnson, who entered her car and sexually assaulted her. McCauley attempted to fight Johnson off by kicking and punching him. Johnson eventually strangled Johnson to death with a scarf she was wearing.

Following McCauley’s death, Johnson put her body in the back seat of her car.

In the hours following her disappearance, police released a photo of a man they believed was driving McCauley’s car. Someone called police saying they saw McCauley’s car on Monday night, upon which authorities found the man inside a nearby CVS. The suspect gave them the keys. Upon searching the car, police found McCauley’s body, the Associated Press reported at the time.

Outside of her work on “Step Up,” which starred Channing Tatum, McCauley also acted in two short films, “The Paper Girl” and “Never Dream: The Beginning.”