LAWRENCE, Ind. — Court documents filed in a weekend murder reveal the victim was clutching a baseball bat on the kitchen floor of a Lawrence apartment when officers found him, and that his father allegedly admitted to killing his son, “possibly with a hammer.”

Rolf Johnson, a 53-year-old Marion County man, was arrested by the Lawrence Police Department this week and preliminarily charged with murder in the Sunday death of Oliver Johnson, his 27-year-old son.

LPD officers were called just before 11 p.m. Sunday to an apartment complex in the 7100 block of Foxborough Drive for an altercation with possible injuries. Upon arrival, the person who called directed officers to a specific apartment unit.

Once inside, court documents show officers found Oliver on the floor of the kitchen suffering from severe head trauma. LPD officers noted that he was holding a wooden baseball bat in his hands.

Soon after, around 11:10 p.m., LPD medics pronounced Oliver Johnson dead and a homicide investigation was launched.

Marion County Crime Lab experts were called to the scene and found an “AR-15-style” rifle and a “1911-style” handgun inside a holster on a cot in the living room. The cot, officers observed, was mere steps away from where Oliver was on the kitchen floor.

In addition to the guns, investigators found a spent .308 caliber bullet casing on the floor near Oliver’s body and a bullet hole in the wall. A spent bullet was later found on a window ledge in the apartment next door.

On Monday, detectives said a preliminary cause of death for Oliver was a “single gunshot wound.” However, testimony from the person who called police told a slightly different story.

Court documents show that the person who alerted authorities and led officers to the apartment, who was identified as Oliver’s sibling, implicated his father when in the murder when talking with investigators.

“[The person] stated he was asleep and woke up to his father, Rolf Johnson, calling him. [He] stated his dad was saying to call 911 [because] his brother, Oliver Johnson, tried to hit him, so he hit him back, possibly with a hammer, there is blood everywhere, and he killed him.”

A Probable Cause Affidavit for Rolf Johnson’s arrest

However, the involvement of a hammer in Oliver’s death was not supported by the police investigation. In fact, a Marion County Coroner official determined that Oliver appeared to have two penetrating wounds consistent with gunshot wounds.

After his father called, the tipster said he hung up, immediately called 911 and drove to the apartment complex to direct officers where to go. During an interview, he told investigators his father Rolf drives a blue Honda Fit with a Zoo license plate and tape on the back window.

Rolf Johnson, preliminarily charged with murder in the death of his son Oliver, is shown in a booking photo provided by the Lawrence Police Dept.
Rolf Johnson

This tip led to a McCordsville Police Department officer tracking down Rolf near Pendleton Pike and Sunnyside Road while he was driving the blue Honda Fit. Court documents show that the MPD officer pulled Rolf over and arrested him without further incident.

While arresting him, one officer noted that Rolf had what appeared to be dried blood on his pant leg.

Further evidence against Rolf was uncovered when LPD officials were granted search warrants to his social media accounts, which revealed he was “active” on Facebook shortly before the initial disturbance call was made to police.

Following his arrest by McCordsville police, Rolf Johnson was transported to the Lawrence Police Department. He now faces a preliminary charge of felony murder and is due in court at 9 a.m. Wednesday for an initial hearing.