Charges filed against man accused of murdering Zimmerman |

Charges filed against man accused of murdering Zimmerman

Matt Stensland
Lucas Johnson
courtesy/ Routt County Sheriff’s Office

— The Routt County District Attorney’s Office on Thursday filed charges against Lucas Johnson, the man suspected of murdering longtime Routt County resident Edward Zimmerman.

The charges state that Johnson broke into Zimmerman’s home on Yellow Jacket Drive between Steamboat Springs and Stagecoach and stole Zimmerman’s marijuana, valued at between $5,000 and $20,000.

Johnson has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder related to Zimmerman’s death, which, according to the District Attorney’s Office, occurred between Feb. 26 and March 4.

Johnson also has been charged with first-degree motor vehicle theft, which is related to the theft of Zimmerman’s car.

Johnson also faces a charge of possession with intent to manufacture or distribute more than 50 pounds of marijuana or marijuana concentrate. The charge is a Class 1 drug felony.

A Class 3 felony child abuse charge is related to the manufacturing or attempted manufacturing of a controlled substance around Johnson’s three children.

In all, Johnson has been charged with three Class 1 felonies, two Class 3 felonies and two class 5 felonies.

The District Attorney’s Office has asked that the case go directly from Routt County Court to District Court, where felony cases are heard.

Johnson is being held with no opportunity for bond at Routt County Jail. He is due back in court at 1 p.m. Monday.

A preliminary autopsy report released Tuesday showed that Zimmerman was brutally killed. His body had “sharp force injuries of the neck” and he was shot in the face, strangled and had blunt force injuries to the head.

Zimmerman was reported missing Feb. 28 after he did not show up for work the two previous days.

Johnson was arrested March 3 during a traffic stop. According to the Sheriff’s Office, he was driving Zimmerman’s car. Routt County Undersheriff Birch said Tuesday that deputies then followed up on leads and located Zimmerman’s body at about 12:15 a.m. March 4.

Johnson’s wife, Kristen Johnson, was arrested March 5 during a traffic stop. She is being held on a $200,000 bond on suspicion of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

Kristen Johnson returns to court at 1:30 p.m. March 26. Formal charges must be filed against her by March 26.

To reach Matt Stensland, call 970-871-4247, email or follow him on Twitter @SBTStensland

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