Alan Johnson

Attorney says son of former sheriff was gathering evidence, defending self from abuser

By Vicky Wedig

Staff Writer

A trial began Monday for a Lima Center man charged with killing his brother-in-law in Whitewater a year ago.

Before a jury of five men and nine women including two minorities, attorneys made their opening statements Monday. Both sides agree that Alan Johnson, 32, killed his sister’s husband, Kenneth J. Myszkewicz, 43, in Whitewater on Oct. 25, 2016. Both prosecuting attorney Diane Donohoo and defense attorney Stephen Hurley recited Johnson’s words when police came to his parents’ home late the day Myszkewicz was killed – “Arrest me. I did it.”

Hurley said the state will present two days of testimony to show that Johnson killed Myszkewicz, but said that is not the issue.

“The issue in this case is not who did it,” he said. “The issue is intent.”

Hurley said Johnson went to Myszkewicz’s home Oct. 25 to obtain evidence of child pornography to turn over to police. He said Johnson had previously found child porn on Myszkewicz’s computer, reported it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and asked that the matter be handled outside the local police department where Myszkewicz had friends. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children reported the matter to the state Attorney General’s Office, which turned it over to local police, Hurley said. Johnson spoke to Walworth County sheriff’s Det. Robert Craig, who said the evidence was “too stale” to do anything about it but told Johnson if he uncovered anything further to report it to police.

 

Searching for evidence

Hurley said Johnson went to Myszkewicz’s home that night to do just that. He took his father, former Racine County Sheriff Eric Johnson’s, service weapon with him for protection from Myszkewicz, whom Hurley described as physically, verbally and sexually abusive.

“With Alan, Ken was aggressive, abusive, violent – a bully,” he said.

Myszkewicz was married to Alan Johnson’s oldest sister, Kim, Hurley said, and first molested Alan Johnson when he was about 10 years old by touching his genitals. He said Myszkewicz was always verbally abusive and intimidating toward Alan Johnson, had choked him and punched him in the chest and would come up to him from behind and press his fists into Alan Johnson’s temples.

Hurley said Myszkewicz had also inappropriately touched Alan Johnson’s younger sister, Nicole, had choked her and would come up to her from behind and squeeze her shoulders, causing her pain. He was also abusive to his and Kim Myszkewicz’s son, Tyler, whom Alan Johnson related to more like a brother than a nephew and whom Myszkewicz called “boy,” Hurley said. Myszkewicz would force Tyler to assume a sit-up position while Myszkewicz yelled at the boy and would make him continue the position even as Tyler’s muscles began to shake from fatigue, he said.

Hurley said Alan Johnson also was concerned about Nicole’s 6-year-old daughter being around Myszkewicz.

“Alan knew that everyone in his family except for Kim feared Ken,” he said.

Hurley said Alan Johnson’s intent in going to Myszkewicz’s home on Oct. 25, 2016, was to obtain evidence to allow police to apprehend Myszkewicz.

“The evidence will show he never, never intended to kill Ken Myszkewicz,” he said.

Alan Johnson was worried that if Myszkewicz discovered him in the home, Myszkewicz would know what he were doing and would get physical, Hurley said.

“Alan is not a physical person, and so he took his father’s gun with him fearing he might have to defend himself,” he said.

Hurley said Alan Johnson entered Myszkewicz’s unlocked home in the middle of the night, spent about two hours searching for files on a computer and had just closed the windows on the computer after finding ample evidence when Myszkewicz entered the small, cluttered room and closed the door.

“All he could think of is, ‘I have nowhere to go and he knows exactly (what I just saw),’” Hurley said.

He said Alan Johnson doesn’t remember firing the gun; he just recalls that he was able to get past Myszkewicz and out of the house.

 

DA: Shooting was intentional

But, assistant district attorney Donohoo said, all five bullets from the 40-caliber handgun hit their target – two of them passed through Myszkewicz and three of them remained in his body.

She said Eric Johnson always kept his guns under lock and key with the magazines loaded and kept separately. Alan Johnson took the gun and a loaded magazine with him to Myszkewicz’s house in the middle of the night, reloaded the magazine and put it and the gun away when he got home and initially denied knowledge of what happened to Myszkewicz when questioned by police, Donohoo said.

“This defendant went into the home that night to kill Ken Myszkewicz,” she said.

Donohoo said Myszkewicz’s wife, Kim, called 911 at 2:22 a.m. Oct. 25, 2016, and believed at that time that her husband had fallen and possibly hit his head. She discovered, while on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, that her husband had been shot, Donohoo said.

Alan Johnson’s sister, Chris, who lives near Kim, called Alan Johnson at about 2:30 a.m. to tell him police cars were at Kim’s house, and Johnson didn’t let on that he had any knowledge of what was happening – he just told Chris to “keep him posted,” Donohoo said.

When Det. Craig Banaszynski questioned Alan Johnson the morning of Oct. 25, 2016, and again between noon and 1 p.m. that day, Donohoo said, Johnson still acted as though he knew nothing.

Donohoo said as the long day of Oct. 25, 2016, came to a close, police had no suspect. And then, Eric Johnson called Banaszynski at about 5:30 p.m. and said, “You’ve got to come over here right away,” she said.

When Banaszynski arrived with a Whitewater officer wearing a body camera, Alan Johnson   said, “Arrest me. I did it,” Donohoo said.

She said a ballistics expert will testify that the bullets that killed Myszkewicz came from Eric Johnson’s gun, and a crime lab analyst will testify that clothing Alan Johnson’s former attorney turned over nearly two months after Myszkewicz’s death was worn by Johnson and contains Myszkewicz’s blood.

Look for updates on the trial throughout the week at mywalworthcounty.com.

 

 
 

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