Danville couple charged with murder in Georgetown double shooting

Danville couple charged with murder in Georgetown double shooting

DANVILLE — Two Danville residents were formally charged Wednesday in connection with Monday’s double shooting at a Georgetown mobile home park that left a woman dead and her boyfriend seriously injured.

Michael W. Long, 26, and Laura C. Johnson, who will be 32 in three weeks, were each charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the death of 31-year-old Kimberly M. George.

Vermilion County State’s Attorney Jacqueline Lacy said the information alleges that Long personally discharged the firearm used to kill Ms. George, and that Johnson “was charged with first-degree under the theory of accountability in every count.”

The couple also were each charged with one count of aggravated robbery (discharge of a firearm) and one count of aggravated battery (discharge of a firearm), both Class X felonies, in the shooting and robbery of Ms. George’s boyfriend, Eric Stark.

Long and Johnson appeared together via video from jail at their initial hearing in Vermilion County Circuit Court.

Associate Judge Derek Girton appointed the public defender’s office to represent them. Through Assistant Public Defender Ben Mullison, they each pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Girton set Long’s bond at $5 million and Johnson’s at $3 million, meaning they would have to post $500,000 and $300,000, respectively, in order to be released.

After the judge dismissed them, the pair — still on camera — kissed before they were taken away to their cells.

The couple’s arraignment hearings were scheduled for April 6.

If convicted of murder, Long could be sentenced to a minimum of 45 years to life in prison, while Johnson could face a minimum of 35 years in prison.

In asking for the bond amounts, Lacy said that on 6:20 a.m. on Monday, Georgetown police responded to call for a shooting victim at a mobile home at 710 Mill St. Upon arrival, they found two victims — Stark, who was shot three times, and Ms. George, who was shot several times.

Ms. George was later pronounced dead, Lacy said.

Through the investigation and conversations with witnesses, police identified Long and Johnson as suspects, Lacy continued.

“They went with a loaded gun to take money and drugs from the victims,” she said.

The prosecutor went on to say that Long went inside the mobile home and shot the couple. She said the couple’s two young children were there at the time.

Lacy said Long took both of the victims’ cellphones, then he and Johnson fled. She said a firearm was later recovered.

Georgetown police said the young children weren’t harmed. Ms. George also has an older child, who wasn’t there.

Lacy said neither Long nor Johnson have lengthy criminal histories. Long had a 2012 traffic case in Vermilion County and a DUI case in Fountain County, Ind. Johnson has a 2017 charge for criminal damage to property under $500, which is pending. She also had a 2004 misdemeanor battery case and a retail-theft case as a juvenile.

Police arrested Long and Johnson in Danville around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday. Georgetown police Chief Whitney Renaker told The News-Gazette that they quickly obtained “a confession of murder” from the suspects.

Stark is the brother of Lucas W. Stark of Danville, who was fatally shot around 3 a.m. Oct. 22 in the 700 block of Florida Street after an argument, according to city police.

Marcus Carter, 26, of Danville, faces three counts of first-degree murder and one count of felony possession of a firearm in connection with Mr. Stark’s death.

The two cases are not connected.

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BruckJr wrote on March 28, 2018 at 2:03 pm

A couple questions.  If the charges are identical against the two culprits, why are their bonds different?  Is it based on past record?  Why were they expecting drugs to be in the home - were these folks drug dealers?  With two small children in the home?