LA CROSSE (AP) – La Crosse County prosecutors filed six felony charges against a Wisconsin man they say killed a 79-year-old cab driver and led police on a high-speed chase while he was high on PCP, according to court records.
Prosecutors said Timmy Johnson Jr., 25, admitted killing Merle Forbes, 79, in June after calling him for a ride in Platteville. Johnson is charged with six felonies, including first-degree intentional homicide, kidnapping, armed robbery and fleeing officers. Prosecutors said he’s accused of stabbing Forbes and putting him in the trunk of the taxi.
On June 12, Johnson was released from the Grant County Jail after serving time for car theft. A criminal complaint alleges he then stole a knife and bottle of whiskey before finding PCP, the La Crosse Tribune reported. He called a cab near the University of Platteville. The complaint says Johnson was planning to be dropped off in a secluded area where he could commit suicide.
At some point during his ride with Forbes, Johnson became fearful that the taxi driver was going to hurt him, so he stabbed Forbes multiple times, according to the complaint.
The complaint says Johnson could hear Forbes moaning in the trunk as he headed for La Crosse, stopping three times to give the dying man fresh air.
Police say Johnson fled from a La Crosse police officer who had checked the vehicle’s registration. Authorities say speeds reached 115 mph before Johnson hit an SUV in Holmen and was arrested.
He was being held on $500,000 bond. The La Crosse County Jail didn’t know if Johnson had an attorney.