Annawan Man Charged with DUI Death of Jeanne Johnson Adds New Meth Possession Charge


The 21-year-old Annawan man charged with the DUI Death of Jeanne Johnson in September has added a Possession of Meth charge to his record.  Justin Kirchner was taken into custody at his Status hearing on April 14, 2023, for violation of bond.  He posted bond and was released.  At his Preliminary Hearing on April 24th, probable cause was found by Judge Patton following testimony by Deputy Dylan Galloway.  On April 7th, Deputy Galloway and Deputy Wagner saw a single cab truck with no front license plate and dark tinted windows.  Deputy Galloway identified the vehicle as belonging to Justin Kirchner.  Deputy Galloway testified that they followed the vehicle as it turned off Highway 78 onto North 2700.  While following the truck, Deputy Galloway saw a plastic bag exit the driver’s side of the vehicle prior to pulling into a private driveway.  Deputy Galloway said he went back and retrieved the plastic bag that contained suspected Methamphetamine, which field-tested positive for meth.  Mr. Kirchner told Deputy Galloway that he didn’t throw anything out of his window.  The passenger in the truck said he threw something out the passenger window;  However, the passenger window was in view of the Deputies as it turned into the driveway and the window was rolled all the way up.  Deputy Galloway testified that the dash-cam video shows the bag on the road but couldn’t see the bag exit the driver’s side of the vehicle from the small screen he reviewed the video on, but may be clearer on a larger screen.  Kirchner plead Not Guilty and a Jury Pre-Trial is scheduled for June 15, 2023, at 1 PM.

Kirchner is charged with Aggravated DUI causing a Death (Class 2 Felony), DUI Any Amount of Drug (Class A Misdemeanor) plus traffic tickets for case 2022CF301.  Kirchner is charged with Possession of Meth <5 Grams (Class 3 Felony) for case 2023CF92.  Kirchner is charged with Driving on Suspended License (Class A Misdemeanor) for case 2023MT28.  On May 16, 2023, the expert hired by Attorney Vandersnick is scheduled to test samples taken after the accident that killed Jeanne Johnson on Highway 78 North of Annawan on September 8, 2022.  Accident reconstruction showed that Justin Kirchner drove into the Northbound lane striking the vehicle driving by 53-year-old Jeanne Johnson, causing her death.  Mr. Kirchner was later read his Miranda Rights and transported to Hammond Henry Hospital by Trooper Lambin for blood and urine samples.  The urine sample returned positive for Methamphetamine.

Submit a Comment