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Daughter decries ‘brutal murder’ at Roseville restaurant where her mother was shot by ex-fiancé

Viktoria Hazegh-Aazam sat in a Placer County courtroom Monday a few feet away from the man who killed her mother in a “hateful crime” that has left the teenager consumed by agony.

“She wasn’t just my mom. She was my rock, my entire support system and my best friend. The woman who was meant to guide and teach me the ways of life,” she said in court about Vita Joga. “And to have her ripped away from me in such a horrific manner is a wound that will never heal.”

The 51-year-old mother was shot to death by her ex-fiancé, Johnnie Jordan IV, while she worked at a Roseville restaurant in a 2021 brazen act of domestic violence.

Viktoria Hazegh-Aazam reads on Monday her victim impact statement about her mother Vita Joga to Johnnie Jordan IV, who last month pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Joga’s death. Jordan gunned down Joga, his ex-fiancee, in 2021 while she was working as a waitress at a Roseville restaurant.
Viktoria Hazegh-Aazam reads on Monday her victim impact statement about her mother Vita Joga to Johnnie Jordan IV, who last month pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Joga’s death. Jordan gunned down Joga, his ex-fiancee, in 2021 while she was working as a waitress at a Roseville restaurant.

Jordan, 51, of Citrus Heights, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree murder in Placer Superior Court for Joga’s shooting death. Joga was gunned down while at work as a waitress at the House of Oliver restaurant.

On Monday afternoon, Jordan was formally sentenced to 50 years to life in prison for the murder. Jordan agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors to avoid a trial that had been scheduled to begin Feb. 13.

Joga’s daughter fought back tears as she spoke in court about her mother’s “brutal murder” and its aftermath. She said she misses her mother’s laughter, hugs and guidance more than words can express, and that “no amount of time or justice served” can ever bring back what she lost.

The murder at the restaurant

The deadly shooting was reported at 3:20 p.m. on June 21, 2021, at the well-known restaurant along Douglas Boulevard, between Roseville Parkway and Sierra College Boulevard.

The Roseville Police Department has said Jordan left the area in a vehicle. About two hours after the restaurant shooting, police announced the suspect was taken into custody.

Prosecutors said Jordan drove himself to the South Placer Jail after the fatal shooting and turned himself in. He has remained in custody since then.

Investigators closed the parking lot outside the House of Oliver restaurant along Douglas Boulevard in Roseville, California after a shooting occurred there on Monday afternoon June 21, 2021.
Investigators closed the parking lot outside the House of Oliver restaurant along Douglas Boulevard in Roseville, California after a shooting occurred there on Monday afternoon June 21, 2021.

Hazegh-Aazam, who was 16 years old when her mother was killed, said the man responsible for this “heinous act” was no stranger to her family.

“He was once welcomed into our lives with open arms,” she said. “Little did we know the depth of darkness that lurked beneath his facade of charm. The betrayal I feel knowing that someone my mother trusted could commit such a vile deed is beyond comprehension.”

She said her mother’s murder has shattered her sense of security and trust, leaving her feeling lost and alone with disturbing thoughts that make “finding closure” feel like an impossible task.

But Hazegh-Aazam also said she will work to make the memory of her mother become the “brightest beacon of light” to guide her family toward healing and eventual peace.

History of domestic violence

Jordan was accused of domestic violence several weeks before the deadly shooting. On May 7, 2021, Jordan was arrested on suspicion of making criminal threats and committing battery on or against a spouse. Jordan was released from custody May 10, 2021, but failed to appear in court for a scheduled hearing hours before he shot the waitress to death at the restaurant.

Joga had obtained a restraining order against Jordan. A May 10, 2021, court order instructed Jordan to stay away from his ex-fiancée.

“Vita in this case did everything she was supposed to do,” Placer County District Attorney Morgan Gire said during the sentencing hearing. “When she was abused, she reported it. She kicked the defendant out and she got a restraining order. She did everything the system asked her to do, and she placed trust in the system.”

Gire said the deadly shooting was not an impulsive spur-of-the-moment act; Jordan committed a “calculated premeditated act.”

A memorial is set up outside the House of Oliver restaurant for Vita Joga, who worked as a waitress at the restaurant, in June 2022 in Roseville. She was shot to death while at work the day before.
A memorial is set up outside the House of Oliver restaurant for Vita Joga, who worked as a waitress at the restaurant, in June 2022 in Roseville. She was shot to death while at work the day before.

Murderer speaks on his ‘senseless act’

Jordan spoke in court for a few minutes, apologizing to Joga’s daughter repeatedly for killing her mother.

While he remained seated, he spoke into a microphone, telling Hazegh-Aazam that he will pray that she’s able to have a healthy and beautiful future despite what he did.

“I wasn’t going to speak today because I’m so ashamed of what I did,” Jordan said in court. “I’m so sorry I took your mom from you. I want you to know how much I regret what I did. I wish I could take it all back.”

He went on to say he knows how much he took from Joga’s daughter in a “senseless act,” but he wasn’t asking Hazegh-Aazam for forgiveness because he wouldn’t forgive him if he was her.

“I’m sorry I was such a weak man. I wish I could have controlled my emotions. I know I’ve destroyed a part of you,” Jordan told his ex-fiancé’s daughter. “Now, I’m going to away for life. I wish I could bring her back to you. I would sacrifice my life to bring her back to you. And I mean that. I did a horrible thing.”

Johnnie Jordan IV apologizes to Viktoria Hazegh-Aazam, daughter of the woman he pleaded guilty last month to murdering, before he leaves the courtroom after being sentenced to 50 years to life in Placer Superior Court in Roseville on Monday. Jordan killed ex-fiancee Vita Joga in 2021, while she was working as a waitress at a Roseville restaurant.
Johnnie Jordan IV apologizes to Viktoria Hazegh-Aazam, daughter of the woman he pleaded guilty last month to murdering, before he leaves the courtroom after being sentenced to 50 years to life in Placer Superior Court in Roseville on Monday. Jordan killed ex-fiancee Vita Joga in 2021, while she was working as a waitress at a Roseville restaurant.

Outside the courthouse after the sentencing, Gire said Jordan’s statement in court “rang a little bit hollow and his apology seemed a little bit insincere given the circumstances of the case.” The prosecutor told news reporters that he was notified that Jordan was going to speak in court, so it wasn’t unexpected, but “you’re never truly prepared how those words are going to sound when they come out of a killer’s mouth.”

Along with the murder charge, Jordan faced charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm and making criminal threats, both felony charges; along with a misdemeanor charge of battery against a spouse or cohabitant. Those charges were formally dismissed as part of his plea deal.

Gire said his office agreed to the plea deal after consulting with Joga’s family. He said prosecutors wanted a resolution that would essentially guarantee a sentence that will keep Jordan behind bars for effectively the rest of his life while helping Joga’s family avoid the emotional toll of a murder trial.

If state law remains the same, Gire said Jordan will not be eligible for parole until he’s more than 100 years old.

Jail assault conviction

Before he starts serving his 50 year to life prison sentence, Jordan will have to serve another prison sentence in an unrelated jail attack.

Jordan’s murder case was put on hold in January after he was arrested again after a jail assault. He also pleaded to that felony charge last month and will serve an additional 32 months in prison for committing battery on a custodial officer Jan. 20 at the Placer County Jail.

Sgt. David Smith, a spokesman for the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, said Jordan injured the correctional officer in the South Placer Jail. Smith said the officer suffered a “minor facial contusion” and has recovered. The district attorney has said in court that Jordan punched the custodial officer who was trying to do their job.