WARNING: Some parts of this report are graphic in nature.
PINE TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WKBN) – Court documents show a man who was murdered in his Pine Township home on Sunday afternoon was strangled to death, but before he died, he stabbed his assailants several times, which left a bloody trail from the house to the street.
Ryan Phyllip Bowers, 23, and Patrick Shawn McCamey, 39, both of Grove City, were charged Tuesday in a court affidavit with two counts of murder and one count of robbery. They are being held at the Mercer County Jail pending an initial court appearance on Oct. 8.
According to the affidavit, a woman called Pennsylvania State Police just after 3 p.m. Sunday to report she found a dead body lying just outside the door to her neighbor’s house at 255 Irishtown Road. She said the victim appeared to be her neighbor, Michael Anthony Johns Sr.
When police arrived, they found Johns, 60, lying face down outside the residence and there was a large pool of blood next to him. They also saw multiple bloody boot prints, consistent with a work-style boot, in the blood and leading inside the house, the affidavit states.
Police said the bloody boot prints traveled away from the scene, north on Irishtown Road and west on Route 58 for about 1,500 feet. They said there were several large pools of blood along the path. There was a piece of currency lying near one of the blood pools, the affidavit states.
Police said they did not observe any injuries to Johns that would have left such a large amount of blood, but they did find a broken knife lying near his body. Bloody boot prints led from the victim’s body to various locations inside the house, where multiple doors and containers were left ajar and open, the affidavit states.
An autopsy report by the Erie County Coroner’s Office found Johns died from asphyxiation with elements of strangulation and smothering, according to the affidavit.
The court report also states police received an anonymous tip that McCamey contacted one of his family members and said he was being treated for a stab wound at a Pittsburgh hospital and he had “messed up big time” and was “going to prison for a long time.”
The family member said she and her boyfriend picked up McCamey at Allegheny General Hospital and he had a large bandage on his leg. As they were walking to the car, McCamey told her he was going to prison for a long time and when she asked him why, McCamey told her he was stabbed during an altercation with a guy who accused him of stealing money and marijuana from him, the affidavit states.
McCamey told her the guy “freaked out over nothing and came at him” after which he put Johns in a choke hold. He said Johns stabbed him while he was choking him, the court report states.
During questioning by police, McCamey said he and Bowers drove to Johns’ residence between 6:30 and 7 a.m. on Sunday to buy marijuana. He said he made arrangements to buy 2 ounces of weed for $600, according to the affidavit.
McCamey told officers Johns was upset about the amount of money he and Bowers brought and a short time later, he heard Bowers say “he stuck me” and McCamey said he felt himself get stabbed. He said he wrestled with Johns before getting behind him and putting him in a choke hold.
He said after Johns was no longer moving, he got some Comet to pour in the puddle of blood where he was stabbed in an attempt to destroy his DNA, the affidavit states. He told police he walked part way to the car, which was parked a short distance away from the victim’s house, but he became weak and had to have Bowers pick him up.
McCamey denied going to Johns’ house to rob him, the report states.
During an interview with police Sunday evening, Bowers said he went with McCamey to rob Johns of his money and marijuana, but he had never met Johns. He said his job was to be a lookout, according to the affidavit.
Bowers said McCamey lured Johns outside and they began to tussle outside the front door. Bowers said he tried pulling McCamey off the victim, but Johns stabbed him twice in the left thigh. He said he went inside to get something to stop the bleeding and by the time he got back outside, McCamey had Johns in a choke hold on the ground.
The affidavit states Bowers told police McCamey went back in the house after Johns stopped moving and returned with some money he found. Bowers told police he never intended to hurt the victim and had no idea McCamey planned to hurt the victim because the plan was only to rob him.