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Father, son charged with murder for shooting outside Springfield apartment, although they didn’t shoot victim

Published: Sep. 1, 2020 at 6:14 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -

It may sound strange but a father and son have been charged with second-degree murder even though they weren’t the ones who pulled the trigger.

The June 17 homicide at the Golden Pond Apartments was reported after a resident said he had shot someone who tried to break into his apartment.

But that resident has not been charged in the murder of Joshua Woods, who was found a block away near a stop sign at Republic Road.

Instead 48 year-old Rick Johnson Sr. and 27 year-old Rick Johnson Jr. have been charged with second degree murder because their actions led to the deadly confrontation.

According to the probable cause statement it all started when Rick Johnson Sr. thought someone had ripped him off at a motel on North Glenstone.

“Mr. Johnson Senior had money and drugs stolen from him and he got two other men, one of them his son and then his son’s friend, to go with him to look for the people who had stolen from him,” said Phil Fuhrman, the Greene County Assistant Prosecutor for Major Crimes.

The probable cause statement alleges that the three men came to the Golden Pond apartment complex and Johnson Senior stayed in a truck while his son and Woods, the friend, went to an apartment armed with guns.

Three people were in the apartment at the time watching a movie when the two men came to the door twice. The resident who answered the door said he told the men the first time he didn’t know the person they were looking for.

But soon the men returned and tried to force their way in.

“They went to the wrong apartment,” Fuhrman said. “A resident in the apartment answers the door and a long rifle is jammed through the doorway and at that time the resident actually uses deadly force and fires his handgun at the two men that are trying to break into his home.”

Both men were shot with Johnson Jr. hit in the arm and Woods dying from wounds to his chest and back. They fled from the apartment complex and Woods was found about a block away next to a stop sign at Republic Road. A gun was also recovered nearby.

Woods’ truck was found in a nearby neighborhood and Johnson Sr. was found in the same area a short time later. He was in possession of Woods’ keys and there was blood found on the inside of the truck.

As to the reason the father and son were charged with second degree murder even though they weren’t the ones who fired the shots?

“Missouri law allows for someone to be charged with a felony murder if a person is committing a felony and someone dies during the commission of that felony,” Fuhrman explained. “You can also be charged if you aided or encouraged the crime. In this case you’re seeing both of those things.”

The resident who fired the shots had his story corroborated by the two others in his apartment at the time of the shooting.

The case is still under investigation but looking at the law enforcement review of the case so far Fuhrman said of the resident’s role, “It appears that would be a justifiable shooting.”

The second degree murder charge for the father and son carries a possible life sentence if convicted.

Copyright 2020 KY3. All rights reserved.

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