Marist College parent murder: Suspect in hotel shooting linked to another high-profile killing

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The accused shooter in the slaying of New York father Paul Kutz, who was gunned down in the lobby of a Courtyard Marriott hotel while visiting his son at Marist College for Family Weekend, is being probed for another local murder, according to a new report.

Ex-convict Roy Johnson Jr., 35, was arrested at the scene for second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon for the random killing of the 53-year-old father of three in Poughkeepsie Sunday morning. 

Police say Johnson was present at another homicide August 9, when Darren Villani, 28, was fatally shot in his car at the intersection of Mansion Street and Bement Avenue.

City of Poughkeepsie Police Captain Rich Wilson said in a press release that detectives determined that Johnson, who is homeless, was at the intersection of Mansion and Smith streets at approximately 1:45 a.m.

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Paul Kutz with family in a Facebook photo from 2013
(Facebook/Paul Kutz)

City of Poughkeepsie Police did not immediately return a request for comment on the matter.

Police had been trying to locate Johnson for questioning after learning he had several warrants for drug and weapon possession charges out of Georgia, Wilson said.

General view of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY on Wednesday, October 5, 2022.

General view of Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY on Wednesday, October 5, 2022.
(Credit: The Image Direct for Fox News Digital.)

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“The identities and locations of witnesses, persons of interest, and suspects have proven challenging and difficult to ascertain, including the location of Roy A. Johnson,” according to the press release . “Multiple sources have indicated that Roy A. Johnson had been eluding police through transient stays at unspecified hotels including hotels in multiple states outside of New York.”

General view of the home of Paul Kutz in East Northport, New York on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022. Kutz was killed on Sunday morning in a shooting at a hotel in Poughkeepsie, New York.

General view of the home of Paul Kutz in East Northport, New York on Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2022. Kutz was killed on Sunday morning in a shooting at a hotel in Poughkeepsie, New York.
(Dario Alequin for Fox News Digital)

Police finally tracked down Johnson when they responded to reports of a shooting at 7:29 a.m. at the Courtyard Marriott on South Road near Evergreen Avenue, about four miles away from Marist College.

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Police found Kutz in the lobby with gunshot wounds to his chest and torso, and he was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Johnson and Devin Taylor, 26, who were staying at the suburban hotel, were arrested at the scene. 

Split image shows mugshot photos for Roy Johnson Jr. and Devin Taylor, the men accused in the Oct. 2, 2022 shooting in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Split image shows mugshot photos for Roy Johnson Jr. and Devin Taylor, the men accused in the Oct. 2, 2022 shooting in Poughkeepsie, New York.
(Dutchess County Jail)

The men were allegedly smoking a “PCP-like substance” in a hotel room when Johnson went downstairs for coffee and began bickering with people he encountered there, according to NBC4 New York.

Poughkeepsie Police Chief Joseph Cavaliere said at a press conference Monday that Johnson intended to shoot Kutz but did not know him and called the murder a “random act.”

Johnson was ordered held without bail. Taylor was charged with two counts of criminal possession of a weapon for carrying a loaded rifle with no serial number and ordered held on $1 million bond, court records show.

Undated photograph shows Paul Kutz, who was shot and killed in a random shooting in Poughkeepsie, New York, Oct. 2, 2022.

Undated photograph shows Paul Kutz, who was shot and killed in a random shooting in Poughkeepsie, New York, Oct. 2, 2022.
(LinkedIn)

Authorities found bomb-making materials and manuals in the hotel room the men were sharing, officials said.

A grand jury began weighing the case Wednesday, and both men are slated to appear in court Friday for their arraignment.

Local businesses tell Fox News Digital that police were canvassing the area near the hotel on Monday for surveillance footage.

Johnson was previously convicted of robbery and burglary and spent years in prison, New York State Department of Correction and Community Supervision records show.

Police vehicles outside of the Courtyard by Marriott seen on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 where a Paul Kutz was shot and killed on Sunday.

Police vehicles outside of the Courtyard by Marriott seen on Wednesday, October 5, 2022 where a Paul Kutz was shot and killed on Sunday.
(Credit: The Image Direct for Fox News Digital.)

Taylor also served a stint in prison on a felony burglary conviction.

The shooting of Kutz came as the school celebrated Family Weekend – an opportunity for families to get to know the campus through sports and entertainment activities.

Kutz, of Northport, Long Island, owned an accounting and financial planning firm. 

Source: Fox News


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