Hearings set for Walters men

Jonathan Wright - [email protected]
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VANCEBURG — A trial date has been set for Preston Walters after his indictment for the alleged murder of Justin Johnson; Wince Walters faces a status hearing.

According to the Lewis County Circuit Clerk’s office, a pretrial for Preston Walters is set on Sept. 5 at the Lewis County Circuit Court while the jury trial will be held on Dec. 3. A status hearing for Wince Walters will be held July 6.

Preston Walters, 52, of Garrison, was indicted on murder, eight counts of tampering with physical evidence, one count of abusing a corpse and one count of cultivating in marijuana, over five plants. He was arrested on March 31, 2017.

Wince Walters, 54, of Garrison, was also arrested in March. He was indicted with four counts of tampering with physical evidence, one count of abuse of a corpse and one count of cultivating marijuana, over five plants.

Both Wince and Preston appeared in court April 2017, for a pretrial hearing. During the testimony, Sheriff Johnny Bivens said Johnson failed to return home in March which prompted an investigation. The investigation revealed Preston Walters allegedly shot Johnson, which caused his death.

According to Bivens, Preston Walter claimed he and Johnson were travelling to Preston Walter’s cabin in Garrison. Johnson bent down to unlatch the gate, where he told Preston Walters there was a deer in the field.

Preston Walters allegedly attempted to shoot the deer as Johnson was rising, which caused Preston Walters to shoot him. Bivens was doubtful, saying the trajectory of the shot didn’t match the testimony.

Preston and Wince Walters then concealed Johnson’s body with leaves, making another trip to later place his body in a creek. Johnson’s body was finally moved to an area on Cooper Ridge Road, where his body was found by turkey hunters, according to Bivens.

Preston Walters remains in the Lewis County Detention Center on a $500,000 cash only bond.

Wince Walters was released after posting a $20,000 property bond. Once the bond was posted, Walters was released from the Lewis County Detention Center.

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Jonathan Wright

[email protected]