Man charged with murder, other charges after West End fatal crash

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by Amy Stallings

WHAS11.com

Posted on October 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 24 at 10:23 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- The man police said ran a stop sign and crashed into another vehicle Tuesday is now charged with murder.

Police said 64-year-old Joseph Johnson ran a stop sign at 39th and Kentucky while fleeing police and crashed his truck into a vehicle, resulting in the death of the driver. Thirty-one-year-old Stephanie Melson, a mom and daycare worker, was killed after Johnson's truck hit her red Pontiac.

According to witnesses, Johnson led police on a high speed pursuit before crashing into Melson. Nita Gardner said she watched the vehicles collide and blames police for continuing to pursue the suspect.  However, Deborah Garnett who saw an earlier part of the chase near 40th and Kentucky said the suspect is at fault, because he should have stopped for police.

Now, Johnson is facing several charges related to the accident and a subsequent search of Johnson's residence.

Johnson is charged with murder, trafficking a controlled substance, fleeing and evading, disregarding traffic control device, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana and possession of a stolen firearm.

According to the police report, officers obtained consent to search the truck after the crash. Officers found a large of amount of what is believed to be cocaine in the vehicle. Police later conducted a search warrant at a residence on 43rd Street where officers found firearms, scales, marijuana, assorted drug paraphernalia and powder suspected to be cocaine.

Police said one of the firearms, a rifle, recovered from the residence was confirmed as stolen.

 

 

 

 

 

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