Officers with the Lewis County, Kentucky Sheriff’s Department have arrested two Garrison, Kentucky men and charged them in connection with the murder of Justin D. Johnson, 28, on Thursday, March 23. His body was discovered on Wednesday, March 29. Charged in the case are Preston Neill Walters and Wince L. Walters.
Preston Neill Walters, 52, of Garrison, has been charged with the offense of capital murder, a class-A felony, tampering with physical evidence, a class-D felony, and abuse of a corpse, a class-A misdemeanor.
Lewis County Sheriff Johnny Bivens said Preston Neill Walters allegedly shot Justin Johnson in the back with a high caliber pistol, causing his death. After shooting Mr. Johnson, he allegedly concealed the body beside a roadway and covered it with leaves.
Bivens said after a period of time, Preston Neill Walters allegedly returned to where the body was concealed and, in complicity with Wince L. Walters, 53, of Garrison, removed Johnson’s body to another location and threw his body over an embankment. He also allegedly concealed or destroyed evidence of his involvement in the murder.
Preston Neill Walters also allegedly abandoned Johnson’s body, leaving it in the elements for an extended period of time without notifying family members or authorities.
Wince L. Walters 53, of Garrison, has been charged with tampering with physical evidence, a class-D felony, and abuse of a corpse, a class-A misdemeanor.
Wince L. Walters allegedly, in complicity with Preston Neill Walters, moved the body of Justin Johnson from the murder scene a significant distance and placed his body in a creek in an attempt to conceal it.
After a period of time Wince L. Walters, in complicity with Preston Neill Walters, allegedly moved Johnson’s body again and threw him over the embankment. He also allegedly burned the carpet from the trunk of the automobile that was used to transport Johnson’s body. He also allegedly burned his own boots that he was wearing while committing the crime, and burned the plastic in which Mr. Johnson’s body was wrapped.
Bivens said Wince L. Walters, in complicity with Preston Neill Walters, also allegedly abandoned Johnson’s body, leaving it in the elements for an extended period of time without notifying family members or authorities.
Additional charges are pending during this ongoing investigation.
Both men have been lodged in the Lewis County Detention Center.
“We will continue to pursue leads in this case and we will find the answers to the many questions surrounding Mr. Johnson’s tragic death,” Bivens said. “Our thoughts and Prayers are with the Johnson family during this difficult time in their lives. Mr. Johnson has a one-year-old son who will never get to know his loving father.”
A funeral was held for Johnson on Saturday.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.