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Bond denied for man accused of killing brother

Billy Ray Johnson Jr. awaits the start of his bond hearing Friday in Wood County Circuit Court. Judge J.D. Beane denied bond for Johnson, charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of his brother. (Photo by Evan Bevins)

PARKERSBURG — A judge on Friday denied bond for a man accused of stabbing and killing his brother.

Billy Ray Johnson Jr., 54, remains in custody at the North Central Regional Jail in Doddridge County after a brief Friday morning hearing before Wood County Circuit Court Judge J.D. Beane.

Johnson was charged Monday with first-degree murder after Wood County Sheriff’s deputies and West Virginia State Police responded to a reported domestic dispute at Johnson’s 2993 Staunton Turnpike residence outside Parkersburg city limits. His brother, 59-year-old Kenneth Wayne Arnott, had been stabbed.

At Friday’s hearing, Wood County Prosecutor Pat Lefebure said the weapon was a Bowie-style knife with an approximately 10-and-a-half-inch blade. When authorities arrived, Johnson “was not providing any type of life support or CPR” for Arnott, Lefebure said.

Johnson’s attorney, G. Bradley Frum, asked Beane to set “a reasonable bond.” He said Johnson had always shown up for court hearings in previous cases and had no plans to leave the area.

Lefebure asked for no bond, citing the seriousness of the crime. He said Johnson claimed his brother initiated the violence, but no weapon or sign of injury to Johnson had been found.

“He attacked me with a fork,” Johnson said to Frum as Lefebure spoke.

Johnson is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing at 3 p.m. Wednesday in Wood County Magistrate Court.

Evan Bevins can be reached at ebevins@newsandsentinel.com.

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