First-Degree Murder Charges Filed

Freddie Johnston

A Sharp County man has now been officially charges with first-degree murder.

Third Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney Henry Boyce announced the charges Monday against 34-year old Freddie Howard Johnston, of Ash Flat.

Authorities say on November 2nd, Johnston shot Jeremy Watkins before turning the gun on himself in an apparent suicide attempt. Watkins died of his injuries 10 days later.

In addition to the murder charge, Johnston is also charged with aggravated residential burglary, aggravated assault on a family or household member, and violation of an order of protection.

Meanwhile, Boyce also announced yesterday, 36-year old Mark Shirley, of Dewitt, has been charged with first-degree murder; attempted first-degree murder; domestic battering; aggravated residential burglary; and interference with emergency communications.

It stems from an October 2nd, beating at a home in Ash Flat where Amanda Shirley and Mark Ballard were found unresponsive and covered in blood.

Ballard died and Shirley is recovering from her injuries.

Mark Shirley
Mark Shirley

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