Johnson charged with murder, chase ends on Wray Ridge Road

Posted June 13, 2018 at 3:09 pm


A police chase that started in Russell County Friday morning ended in Clinton County after David Johnson, 38, of Albany was arrested at gun point on Wray Ridge Road, just off Kentucky Hwy. 90 and charged with murder.

According to the Kentucky State Police, around 10:14 a.m., units from Post 15 responded to a residence on Kentucky Hwy. 92 in Russell County in reference to a shooting that occurred following a custody dispute.

As authorities arrived on scene, they were notified, the suspect, Johnson, had allegedly left the scene driving a white and blue GMC pickup truck and had taken three juveniles against their will.

Around 10:38 a.m., the vehicle Johnson was allegedly driving was spotted by the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department and Johnson was apprehended after a short pursuit.

When Sheriff Guffey engaged the suspect’s vehicle in pursuit, he encountered a truck being driven by a Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resource officer already in pursuit.

“The call came in as a murder, possibly two murders. Deputy Rick Stearns and I headed out and we came across the vehicle running 86 miles per hour on North 127,” Sheriff Jim Guffey said. “I turned on him and the Fish and Wildlife officer motioned me in front of him. He pulled on to Wray Ridge Road and into his dad’s house. I didn’t see any kids at all until they came out of the house,.”

None of the three juveniles were harmed during the incident.

Guffey said he fired three warning shots to disable the vehicle, but didn’t fire at the vehicle.

“The call came out as having possible kids,” Guffey said. “I didn’t shoot at the vehicle for safety reasons.”

According to Guffey, Johnson went into his dad’s home, Joe Johnson, and came out with a gun, but his dad was able to take the gun from him without incident.

Johnson is being charged with the murder of Coty Lawhorn, 28, of Russell Springs, Kentucky, as well as numerous other charges. Johnson’s ex-wife, Jessica Lawhorn, 29, of Russell Springs was also shot and flown to UK Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky.

Johnson appeared in Russell County District Court Monday morning where he plead not guilty on the murder charge from the shooting that occurred Friday in Russell County.

Johnson was appointed a public defender, who then made the plea for the defendant.

A preliminary hearing will be held Monday, June 18 at 1 p.m. in Russell District Court.

David Johnson,second from right, just after being arrested and handcuffed by Clinton County Sheriff Jim Guffey, center. At far right in front of David Johnson, is his father, Joe Johnson.