NewsCovering Kentucky


Family Upset After Murder Charge Dropped

Posted at 5:32 PM, Mar 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-07 20:02:16-05

BOURBON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Officials in Bourbon County on Tuesday dropped a murder charge against a man who had previously been accused of killing a woman and hiding her corpse under his home. Now, the prosecutor in the case explains why the decision was made.

Michael Hutsell

Commonwealth’s Attorney Sharon Muse said that the state and Kentucky State Police recently concluded they did not have evidence to prove a murder charge against 48-year-old Michael Hutsell in the death of 53-year-old Tina Johnson.

Officials believe Johnson died in December 2016. Her body was discovered in January 2017 in a crawl space of a Paris home.

Kenny Johnson, the victim’s son, believes that Hutsell killed his mother, but admits the medical examiner could not determine whether or not a broken neck occurred pre or post-mortem. Still, he’s adamant in his belief that Hutsell is a murderer.

“Everybody knows he killed my mother. Why would you drag her body underneath the house?” asked Johnson.

Muse offered more details about what lead investigators and authorities to abandon the murder charge.

“I spoke with the medical examiner all of the witnesses and not one person was able to testify that a murder occurred,” said Muse.

Hutsell still faces several other charges, including abuse of a corpse, tampering with physical evidence, first-degree persistent felon and retaliating against participants in a legal process.

Hutsell has since been released from jail. Johnson is worried he will run into him.

“We’re lost. What am I supposed to do if I run into this guy at a gas station? The man you believe killed your mother, what are you going to do?”