Local News

Murder suspect says he was kidnapped by alleged accomplices

Posted September 17, 2008 10:08 a.m. EDT
Updated September 17, 2008 11:15 a.m. EDT

— A man accused of shooting and killing a Chapel Hill man says he was kidnapped by two of his alleged accomplices and held against his will.

Matt Johnson, 21, is one of six men charged with first-degree murder in the July 29 shooting death of Joshua Bailey. Authorities say Johnson shot Bailey with a 9 mm handgun and helped bury him in a shallow grave near the Chapel Hill home of one of the other suspects.

Two of the suspects in Bailey's homicide – Brian Gregory Minton, 18 and Jacob Alexander Maxwell, 18, are each charged with first-degree kidnapping. A third person, Sarah Krombach, 23, also faces one count of first-degree kidnapping.

A search warrant, returned Monday, indicates that on Aug. 17, Krombach allegedly drove him to Pittsboro Body Shop in Pittsboro, where she worked. There, Johnson said, he was tied with a chain and bound at the ankles with duct tape, kicked and beaten with a metal pipe.

Minton also allegedly pointed a handgun at Johnson and threatened to kill him, the search warrant stated.

The three then took Johnson to Krombach's house, where they held him overnight. The next day, Johnson claims, he used a Sharpie marker to write on a billiard cue ball that he needed help and threw the ball out a third-floor window of the home, according to the warrant.

Johnson, Minton and Maxwell are each being held in the Orange County Jail without bond in Bailey's death. Orange County authorities found his body last Friday near Jordan Lake in Chatham County.

Three other men – Brandon Hamilton Greene, 26, Ryan Ladar Davis Lee, 20, and Jack Johnson II, 19 – are also charged with murder in Bailey's death and are being held without bond.

Three other people, including Minton's parents, are each in jail under a $1 million bond on a charge of being an accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.