LIGONIER — Formal charges were filed today, Friday, March 9, against the trio charged in the murders of Justin Adams, 30, and Amanda “Mandy” Feldstein, 39, both of Ligonier. The murders occurred Monday evening, March 5, in Ligonier.
Michael Jerome Johnson, 35, has been formally charged with two counts of felony murder in the deaths of Adams and Feldstein and the attempted murder of Amberly Brown. Tiffani Elaine Cox, 30 and Kyra Justine Frost, 25, have formally been charged with aiding in armed robbery, level 3 felonies, and aiding in a felony murder. Initial hearings for all three were held Friday afternoon. The prosecution is seeking no bond for each one.
Adams was found with a fatal gun shot wound on the sidewalk outside the Riverside Villa Apartments, 200 Water St., Ligonier. Feldstein, known as Mandy, was found with a gun shot inside apartment 101 of that complex.
The double homicide was over the alleged theft of a Prada purse valued at $10,000, believed stolen by Amberly Brown.
The Noble County Coroner’s office report the autopsies showed Adams suffered a gunshot wound in the back that traveled through to the chest. Feldstein suffered a gun shot to the head. Toxicology tests are expected in three to four weeks.
According to information from Noble County Prosecutor Eric Blackman, Johnson’s last official address, based on his driver’s license was Markle. Cox’s was Warsaw and Frost’s was Roanoke. However, he stated, it is believed all three had been residing together in Fort Wayne for at least the last month or so.
Authorities also noted Johnson was on parole, but had not been checking in with his parole officer. A parole violation hold has been filed against Johnson as well. Blackman stated some of Johnson’s criminal history included burglary, possession of a handgun by a violent felon, auto theft and receiving stolen property. Authorities believe the two females have no outstanding criminal cases.
Press Conference Held
During a press conference Friday morning, March 9, Ligonier Police Chief Bryan Shearer asked for the public’s assistance in locating the murder weapon. It was re-iterated numerous times, the locating of the .45 caliber Colt Model 1911 is not paramount to the prosecution, but for safety reasons. Shearer and Blackman both stated it was disturbing knowing that a weapon used in a senseless crime was still unaccounted for.
Residents between Ligonier and where the arrest took place on US 20 in Steuben County are being asked to be aware of this firearm and if found to notify authorities. “It could be in fields, a ditch line. It’s done enough damage. We want to get that taken care of,” stated Shearer. Authorities are not positive of the route of travel Johnson took after the shootings other than he fled northbound from Ligonier. It is unknown if he traveled north of SR 5 to US 20 or took other routes. Police are checking the area between where a LaGrange Police officer encountered Johnson’s vehicle to where the pursuit ended.
During the press conference Blackman noted authorities belief Johnson was engaged in buying and selling designer purses. It is unknown if the purses were authentic or imitation. While 15 or more purses were in the vehicle after the search warrant was executed, the one purse related to the murder was located.
The investigation is still continuing by authorities.
Viewing for Adams is being held from 6-8 p.m. today, and 2-5 p.m. Saturday, March 10, for Adams. A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 11. March at the funeral home with a private cremation committal following.
Funeral arrangements are still pending for Feldstein, with Yeager Funeral Home.