UPDATE (Nov. 18, 2022) — Richard Johnson pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to 30 years, with 28 executed in the Indiana Department of Correction and 2 years in Community Corrections work release. He may be eligible for modification of his DOC placement after 15 years and was also given credit for time served and good behavior.
INDIANAPOLIS — A 22-year-old Indianapolis man is behind bars accused of murder at an east side motel.
This week, prosecutors filed charges against Richard Johnson Junior.
After being arrested and taken to jail, the accused killer refused to talk to police or provide a motive for the murder, but prosecutors claim the entire crime was caught on camera.
Video released by IMPD shows a man getting into the driver’s side of pickup truck and unlocking the door for a passenger before the two men flee from the scene of the shooting at the Budget 8 Inn on the morning of November 22.
Prosecutors now claim additional video cameras show the two suspects going upstairs at the motel and starting a fight with the victim, identified as 29-year-old Timothy Bixler.
According to court records, while fighting with Bixler, Johnson, who was the driver of the truck, pulled out a gun and shot the Bixler twice. Johnson then allegedly pistol whipped Bixler and shot at least one more time.
“You’re not supposed to bring a gun to a fist fight. The law says no. I can’t start a fight, start taking a licking and pull out a gun and even it out. The law prohibits that,” said attorney Ralph Staples.
Attorney Staples isn’t connected to the case, but he says because there was mutual combat, Johnson could claim self-defense, but he would need to convince a jury he had a reasonable concern for his life to justify pulling the trigger.
“If I’m the initial aggressor, I have to withdraw, and if that person keeps coming, then I may be justified in pulling a gun out and using it,” explained Staples.
While no reason was ever given for the murder, police were able to use GPS monitoring to quickly track Johnson down and make an arrest.
Johnson is being held without bond.
He’s also facing additional charges for drug possession and unlawful possession of a firearm.