A Missouri man is in police custody after authorities say that he killed two people accused of killing his girlfriend.
Kevin C. Johnson, 24, was arrested in the early morning hours of Monday in connection to the murders of 34-year-old Mason McClure and 34-year-old Nicole Hodges, the Jasper County Sheriff's Office confirmed in a recent release. His arrest comes after McClure and Hodges were found dead in a private residence in Avilla, with the early results of an autopsy suggesting that the pair had been shot to death.
The murders on Sunday are believed to have been committed in connection to an earlier killing, the Newton County Sheriff's Office said in a public statement earlier this week. On Saturday afternoon, the body of 25-year-old Brylee O’Banion was found abandoned in a ditch near State Line Road. Authorities believe that she was murdered and stated that they were seeking two suspects in connection to the young woman’s death, who were the last people to see O’Banion alive, according to the release.
Johnson has allegedly admitted to killing McClure and Hodges after learning that they’d killed O’Banion, who was his girlfriend, according to court documents obtained by KSN. Johnson recalled going to a private residence on Saturday night to see his girlfriend; when he got there, McClure allegedly told him that he and Hodges had killed O’Banion. Later, when Johnson was alone with McClure in the garage, he took out a gun that he’d taken from his father’s house and fatally shot McClure and then Hodges, court documents allege.
Johnson is in custody at the Jasper County Jail on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of armed criminal action, according to KSN. His bond has not been set.
Authorities believe that O’Banion was strangled and then transported to where her body was ultimately found, Newton County Sheriff Chris Jennings told The Joplin Globe. She was also set on fire some time after death, investigators said.
Johnson is believed to have killed McClure and Hodges in an act of retaliation for his girlfriend’s murder, according to the report. A motive for O’Banion’s murder is unclear and her killing remains under investigation.
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