Attorney discloses possible homicide motive
Steamboat Springs — Court documents filed Wednesday shed some new light on a possible motive for the slaying of Routt County resident Edward Zimmerman.
Steamboat Springs attorney Leslie Goldstein has been appointed to represent Kristen Johnson, who is being held on suspicion of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder. Johnson’s husband, Lucas Johnson, is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder.
On Wednesday, Goldstein filed a motion with the court asking for access to the “crime scene located at Mr. Zimmerman’s home” on Yellow Jacket Drive between Steamboat and Stagecoach.
“Specifically, it appears that the prosecution is attempting to lay out a motive for Mr. Zimmerman’s untimely death by asserting that the destruction/or theft of marijuana plants was for financial gain,” Goldstein wrote in the motion. “Discovery states that there was an extensive grow operation conducted in many areas of the home.”
Zimmerman was reported missing Feb. 28, and his remains were discovered the following week.
The Routt County District Attorney’s Office is expected to file formal charges against the Johnsons by Friday. They are both due to appear in court again at 1p.m. Friday.
In addition to first-degree murder, Lucas Johnson is being held on suspicion of aggravated motor vehicle theft and possession of more than 12 ounces of marijuana.
According to court records, more than 100 pounds of marijuana was seized from the Johnson residence.
This is not the first time Lucas Johnson has been accused of a crime involving marijuana.
On April 15, 2014, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia arrested Johnson during a traffic stop. In a news release, the Sheriff’s Office described Johnson as a Florida man.
While searching Johnson’s car, deputies found a small amount of heroin, two to three pounds of marijuana and $100,130 in cash, according to the news release. Johnson faced charges of possession of a controlled substance and possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.
A clerk at the Monroe County Courthouse said Wednesday that she could not release information about the case over the phone.
According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Johnson had several previous drug-related charges in New York, Florida and Kansas.
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STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — After almost four years of providing service to the community as a standalone, full-service emergency department, Steamboat Emergency Center will end its operations April 30.