Whitesburg KY

Murder planned, detective testifies

Days before he murdered a man in Jenkins, a Georgia man told a woman he was planning to commit the murder for drugs and money, police say.

Kentucky State Police Detective Randy Combs testified during a preliminary hearing last week that Alfred White Jr., 43, of Jonesboro, Ga., told Angela Mays, who was living in the Premier Subdivision home where the shooting occurred, of his plans to kill Walter Johnson Jr., 39, of Atlanta.

“Mr. Alfred White made a statement up to a week earlier that he was going to shoot him for the purpose of drugs and money,” Combs said.

Combs testified that Mays and Tom Blair were told by White to provide false information to police and give White enough time to flee the crime scene before police arrived at the double-wide mobile home. Blair was also living in the trailer home.

Combs testified that Blair also made a statement that White had mentioned killing Johnson earlier on the day the shooting occurred. Johnson was shot once in his back close to his spine and rib area around 2: 09 p. m. on March 24. Johnson was pronounced dead by the Letcher County coroner at 3:27 p.m. at the Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Healthcare hospital.

Combs testified that Johnson, Mays and Blair had been seated at a kitchen table, which only had three chairs because the fourth side of the table was pushed up against a window, when the shooting took place. Johnson was positioned across from the window with his back to the living room. Mays and Blair told Combs they looked up and saw White standing behind Johnson with a handgun shortly before they heard the shot.

“They were surprised by hearing the shot,” Combs said.

Combs testified that Mays said White grabbed the top of the chair Johnson was sitting in, moved the chair upward and backward until Johnson fell on the ground, then began patting him down frantically.

Mays called police and reported the crime as an accidental shooting.

“Mr. White did go outside the residence for awhile, but was back in the residence when police arrived,” Combs said.

Combs said Johnson and White were in Jenkins “for the purpose of distributing and selling crack cocaine.” He said Johnson was said to have had “a substantial amount of cash” ranging from $7,000 to $8,000 on him at one time.

“No substantial drugs or money (were) found in the house by police,” said Combs.

Police did find a 9-millimeter handgun hidden under clothing in one of the bedrooms of the trailer. Combs testified that Blair said he saw White bury the gun outside the residence in leaves, remove it and then place it in another location.

“White had been seen with the handgun during his stay,” said Combs.

Jenkins police found a Winchester shell casing. The bullet which killed Johnson was recovered and is being analyzed by a crime lab and Combs said looking at the bullet visually it is consistent with a 9-millimeter. Combs testified that White had a Winchester live round in his pocket.

White declined Combs’s request to take gunshot residue samples and told Combs he hadn’t done anything and didn’t understand why the request was necessary. White also claimed his right to have an attorney present during questioning. A search warrant was later issued to obtain gunshot residue samples from White. Similar samples were also taken from Mays, Blair and David Wyatt, who was also inside the home at the time of the shooting.

Wyat t ’ s late mother owned the home, but Combs said authorities are still not sure who owns the double-wide now.

Letcher District Judge Kevin R. Mullins ruled at last week’s hearing there was enough probable cause to send the case on to the Letcher County Grand Jury for further action. White is still being held in Letcher County Jail without bond.

Combs said White has a “lengthy” criminal history dating back to 1994 in New York. He also has misdemeanor and felony charges in Georgia as well as a prior felony conviction out of Pike County for criminal possession of a forged instrument on March 29, 2010.

White was charged in similar forged instrument case in Letcher County, where he was accused of forging a $497 check at Food City in Whitesburg after presenting a fake Kentucky driver’s license and a fake Social Security card under the name of Jamar Brown on Sept. 23, 2009.

Combs is still investigating the murder case.

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