Leigh Johnson is the District Marshal of Armadillo, a settlement in the territory of New Austin. Johnson is an old-fashioned lawman with a strict no-nonsense work ethic. He is characterized as tough, straight to the point, and is not afraid to get aggressive, all while remaining fair to the law. Johnson does his best to maintain law and order in the town of Armadillo and the county of Cholla Springs, while the world around them progresses into the modern age. The Marshal also commands a couple of deputies, Jonah and Eli, as well as an unnamed deputy featured in "The Assault on Fort Mercer".
Events of Red Dead Redemption
Marston first comes to meet Marshal Johnson in Armadillo after he has arrived looking for help on where to find Bill Williamson. He tasks Marston with numerous missions throughout New Austin, for which in return he will help in the attempt to capture John's former-brother-in-arms at Fort Mercer. Some of these missions are used as tutorials for certain gameplay aspects; for example, how to injure an enemy to allow him to be captured alive.
When Marston returns to Fort Mercer later on, the Marshal and his deputies, alongside a number of other characters Marston has befriended, come along to help apprehend Williamson. After storming the fort, they learn that Williamson left a few days prior to the attack, and that he travelled south across the border and into Nuevo Paraiso, Mexico, with the help of Javier Escuella. Johnson and Marston thank each other for their assistance in their own matters, and part ways as Marston heads after Williamson.
In 1914, according to Blackwater Ledger, it is stated that the "Legendary Marshal Leigh Johnson" stepped down as Marshal of Armadillo after 17 years of service. When asked what his next move would be, he stated that he plans to move as far away from Armadillo as possible.
Events of Undead Nightmare
Note:The events of Undead Nightmare are not considered part of the same canon as Red Dead Redemption. The following description is therefore not contiguous with the preceding section on Red Dead Redemption.
In the Undead NightmareDLC, Marshal Johnson is in the Sheriff's office in Armadillo. When Marston enters the office, Johnson explains the situation of the town. He asks Marston to look for his deputies, whom he sent out into the town. When Marston returns with the news of their demise, Johnson accepts it. He gives Jonah's Sawed-off Shotgun to Marston and is not seen again.
The Blackwater Ledger states that he is fifty-four years old, making his year of birth 1860, the year just before the beginning of the American Civil War. It also states that he had seventeen years of service to Armadillo and that he was thirty-seven meaning he joined in 1897.
In Red Dead Redemption 2 however, a different Sherrif was in charge of Armadillo. This Sherrif was either killed or quit his position (depending on the players action) in 1907.
His beard appears to have a slight yellow tinge. This may be due to streaks of blond in his hair, or it may be caused by consumption of alcohol or chewing tobacco, similar to Uncle.
Baxter Deaton in Armadillo can be heard talking about Johnson, such as how he "buried stolen goods out in Rio Del Lobo" and how "the gang over by Twin Rocks are in cahoots with him". He even talks about Johnson beating the local women. Interestingly, Rio Del Lobo is where the second treasure for the Treasure hunting challenges is located.
Johnson carries a pair of nickel-plated Cattleman Revolvers. In gameplay, Johnson will only wield one of these pistols.
NPCs at MacFarlane's Ranch can be heard stating that "he has the whole world on his shoulders."
Johnson is a widower. The tombstone of his late wife, Priscilla Johnson, is located in the Coot's Chapel Cemetery, to the left of the front entrance. The grave reveals that she died April 23rd, 1903. The cause of death, however, is not mentioned. The tombstone also reads, 'Forever Smiling In Our Hearts'.
Bonnie MacFarlane, along with Marshal Johnson, can be killed after the mission "Hanging Bonnie MacFarlane". Immediately after the mission, as Marston watches them ride off, if he goes into Dead Eye Mode and kills their horses, Bonnie and the Marshal will fall off.
In a promotional picture that can be seen below in the gallery, the Marshal is pictured crumbling a bounty in his hand. If the player looks closely, they can see the bounty target's hideout, Campo Mirada.
After his mission in Undead Nightmare and John leaves his office, he can be seen making calls and doing paperwork.