Man accused of stealing car with man in trunk found competent for trial

Preliminary hearing for Timmy Johnson, Jr. scheduled for July 16

The Grant County man charged with stealing a car with a man in the trunk who was dead at the scene is competent to stand trial.

A La Crosse County judge made that ruling about 25-year-old Timmy Johnson, Jr. in court Wednesday afternoon.

Both the state and Johnson’s defense agreed. However, the defense raised some red flags, including a suicide attempt while in jail.

Johnson has been charged with three counts of recklessly endangering safety and stealing a car. The police report said Johnson led authorities on a high speed chase in that stolen car from La Crosse towards Holmen before crashing.

In the trunk police found 79-year-old Merle Forbes. He was declared dead at the scene. A preliminary autopsy shows assault to be the cause of death.

Johnson has not been charged with homicide. Johnson’s preliminary hearing has been set for Wednesday, July 16.