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Suspect in Marist dad’s fatal hotel shooting was wanted in recent murder: report

The man who allegedly shot dead Long Island dad Paul Kutz during Family Weekend at upstate Marist College was reportedly a key suspect in a recent murder case — as well as a fugitive wanted on gun and drug charges.

Roy Johnson, 35, who is charged with murder in the death of the father-of-three at a Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Poughkeepsie, was issued an arrest warrant in July by the sheriff’s office in Fulton County, Georgia after he allegedly skipped court, WNBC reported.

Johnson had been scheduled to appear on felony gun and cocaine-dealing charges.

The following month, the suspect was investigated in the Poughkeepsie area as a key suspect in a gang-related murder, law enforcement sources told the news outlet.

Authorities wanted to arrest Johnson but the district attorney and others allegedly wanted to wait for DNA and fingerprint evidence to come back, leaving him free to wander the streets for several months, WNBC reported, citing multiple sources.

Meanwhile, it was unclear why officials did not act on the warrant issued by the Fulton County sheriff’s office during the investigation, the outlet said.

Paul Kutz was in the hotel lobby getting ready to check out when he was killed.
Facebook/Nathalie Kutz
Paul Kutz and his family.
Paul Kuts was staying at the hotel for Family Weekend at Marist College.
Facebook/Nathalie Kutz

“There may absolutely be a good reason why the arrest wasn’t made, but as a result of not effecting that arrest, there was a loss of life,” Wilbur Chapman, the former NYPD chief of patrol, told WNBC.

“So there has to be an explanation as to why the arrest was not effected,” he added.

The Town of Poughkeepsie told the station that its police force was unaware of the warrant until after Johnson was arrested in the Sunday shooting.

Roy Johnson Jr.
Authorities wanted to arrest Roy Johnson Jr. for the previous murder but the district attorney and others allegedly wanted to wait for DNA and fingerprint evidence.

Devin Taylor.
Devin Taylor was charged with two counts of weapons possession in the Marriott shooting.

It added that police did not have any open homicide or robbery investigations with Johnson or Devin Taylor, who was also arrested in the Marriott shooting and charged with two counts of weapons possession.

Town of Poughkeepsie police Lt. Jason Burger told WNBC that “the last date of contact for our department with Johnson was in 2019, prior to the issuance of the warrant.”

A rep for the City of Poughkeepsie police, which is separate from the town, told the outlet that the August murder remains under investigation.

Hotel window.
A bullet hole seen in a hotel window.
John Buscek
Heavily armed police officers are seen responding to a shooting at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Poughkeepsie Sunday, Oct. 2.
Police revealed that they found bomb-making materials and a “ghost gun” rifle in the suspects’ room.
Jeff Crianza

The Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office and the county sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to WNBC’s calls and emails on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, cops previously revealed that they later found bomb-making materials and a “ghost gun” rifle in the suspects’ room at the Poughkeepsie hotel.

Kutz was in the hotel lobby just grabbing a cup of coffee and getting ready to check out when he was killed, horrified neighbors told The Post on Tuesday. 

“He went up for parents’ weekend. That’s how it happened, he went to the lobby to get coffee, to check out. Wrong place, wrong time,” Ken Farrell, the next-door neighbor of the slain dad, said from his East Northport home.

File source

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