Annawan Man Charged with DUI Death of Jeanne Johnson Arrested on New Charges


The Annawan man charged with the DUI death of Jeanne Johnson was arrested on Thursday at the Henry County Courthouse on new charges for a Fleeing to Elude incident on August 5, 2023.  Justin Kirchner was still in civilian clothes when Jail staff transported him to the courtroom, where Judge Terry Patton read the new charges to him.  Kirchner is in custody on a $500,000 (10%) bond for Fleeing to Elude, Reckless Driving and various traffic citations for case 2023CF238.  A Preliminary Hearing is scheduled for August 28, 2023, at 2 PM.

The State alleges that on August 5th, Justin Kirchner was driving a motorcycle on Cambridge Road in Kewanee and willfully failed to stop for Henry County Sheriff’s Office Deputy, Deputy Dylan Galloway.  Deputy Galloway was in a clearly marked vehicle and gave an audible alert to the motorcycle.  The motorcycle drove in excess of 21 miles per hour over the posted 30 MPH speed limit and disobeyed stop signs at Cambridge Road and County Highway 28 and Highway 81 and County Highway 5.

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.  Kirchner is charged with Aggravated Fleeing/21 MPH Over (Class 4 Felony), Aggravated Fleeing/2+ Control Devices (Class 4 Felony) and Reckless Driving (Class A Misdemeanor) for case 2023CF238.  Read more here.

Kirchner is charged with Driving Under the Influence in the accident that killed Jeanne Johnson on Highway 78 North of Annawan on September 8, 2022.  Mr. Kirchner was allowed to leave the scene of the accident with his father after providing a statement to police.  After emergency vehicles left, Accident reconstruction determined that Justin Kirchner’s statement was not accurate.  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.  After the urine test returned positive for Methamphetamine.

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