Suspect in Platteville cabdriver homicide wants different locati - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Suspect in Platteville cabdriver homicide wants different location for trial

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Timmy Johnson Jr. Timmy Johnson Jr.
La Crosse, WI (WXOW) -

The Grant County man charged with kidnapping and killing a Platteville cab driver this past summer wants a different county's court to hear the case.

Timothy Johnson, 26, faces homicide charges in Grant County for killing 79-year-old Merle Forbes.  Forbes was a taxi driver who Johnson is accused of stabbing then putting in the trunk of the cab before driving away.

In June, a La Crosse Police officer spotted the vehicle. Johnson then took police on a high speed chase in La Crosse County before crashing between Onalaska and Holmen.

Monday, a Grant County judge denied Johnson's request to have a different court hear his case.

Johnson also faces charges in La Crosse related to that case. Jury selection for the La Crosse charges is scheduled for March.


Grant County filed felony charges against a man accused of killing a cab driver and leading police on a high-speed chase through La Crosse County.

Prosecutors in Grant County are charging Timmy Lansing Johnson Jr. with first degree intentional homicide, armed robbery with use of force and kidnapping. 

According to a criminal complaint Johnson admitted killing 79-year-old Merle Forbes in June after calling him for a cab ride near the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in Grant County.  In the complaint Johnson stated, "I killed the person in the trunk, I killed him."  According to the criminal complaint Johnson stated that he stabbed Forbes multiple times and put him in the trunk of the taxi. 

Prosecutors said Johnson then drove to La Crosse where a La Crosse police officer learned that the Grant County Sheriff's department had issued a missing and endangered person alert for the registered owner of the vehicle Johnson was driving.

Johnson is also facing felony charges in La Crosse County.

Police said the officer attempted to stop the vehicle but Johnson refused and led officers on a high speed chase through La Crosse and Onalaska. Police said as Johnson sped into Holmen, he hit another vehicle from behind, causing the stolen vehicle to go off the road and roll over.  

During an investigation of the crash, Forbes was found dead in the trunk of the vehicle.  Johnson was arrested and is being held in the La Crosse County Jail.

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