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Update: Man accused of killing brother enters guilty plea

Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 8:26 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 13, 2021 at 12:48 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Billy Ray Johnson has pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in the death of his brother in 2019.

Prosecutor Pat Lefebure says Johnson’s plea came in court Monday morning, on the day his much-delayed first-degree murder trial was to begin.

Johnson faces 3-15 years in prison when his sentencing takes place February 14.

Kenneth Wayne Arnott died after being stabbed in the abdomen after a fight with Johnson in November, 2019 at a residence on Staunton Turnpike.

More on the case can be found at the links below.

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A man accused of killing his brother was in court Monday morning.

Billy Ray Johnson appeared in Judge Robert Waters’ courtroom for a motion hearing.

Most of the hearing was spent debating what pictures could be shown to the jury by prosecutors. The defense took issue with multiple of the photos, which showed Johnson’s tattoos. The argument was that they were likely to evoke prejudice in the jurors. The prosecutors argued that, while they would take out a picture of his leg unless it becomes relevant to the case, the other pictures showed the condition Johnson was in after the altercation.

The judge ruled only pictures of Johnson’s head could be used, unless other body pictures become relevant to claims of injury.

Johnson’s defense team plans to argue he was defending himself the day his brother was killed.

Another motion hearing is set for December 9th.

Johnson’s lawyers plan to bring witnesses to testify that his dead brother was a violent man.

Johnson is charged with first-degree murder.

For more context to this hearing, see links below to read previous coverage.

https://www.wtap.com/content/news/One-hospitalized-in-Wood-County-stabbing-564364701.html

https://www.wtap.com/2021/09/24/johnson-trial-delayed-due-covid-issues/

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