Man arrested, charged with murder following Monday deadly crash

Local News

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay announced Wednesday he filed criminal charges against the driver who stole a car Monday, leading to a deadly crash.

The driver, Darren Matthew Johnson, was charged with four felony offenses:

  • First degree murder
  • Second degree murder
  • Fleeing or attempting to elude
  • Aggravated robbery

Authorities identified the backseat passenger of the stolen Kia as Ricardo Rodriguez, 20, who was pronounced dead at the scene. The front seat passenger in the stolen Kia was a juvenile who has been charged with aggravated robbery, according to Kagay.

The event started around 4:00 a.m. on Monday when officers went to the 300 block of SE Lawrence Street on a report of a robbery. The caller told police that two men stole their black Kia at gunpoint.

Around 5:00 a.m. an officer saw someone driving the stolen car near SE 21st Street and SE Indiana Avenue. The officer put their lights and sirens on, but the driver sped away and the officer lost sight of the car.

Shortly after that, a different officer saw the driver speeding near SE 21st Street and SE Adams Street. Then the officer said they watched the driver of the stolen car lose control and crash into a pickup truck.

The person driving the pickup truck has minor injuries from the crash.

Johnson’s bond is set at $1,000,000.

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