Jerry B. Asbell Jr., the suspect who is being held in the Marion County Jail for the alleged murder of Amanda K. Johnston, was granted a change of venue on November 18, transferring his case to Warren County. The cause has been continued to February 22 for disposition or setting. Asbell faces charges of First Degree Murder, Kidnapping, Facilitating a Felony, Inflicting Injury, Terrorizing in the First Degree, Assault in Second Degree and Armed Criminal Action.
Also arrested during the investigation of the murder of Johnston is Jessica Ellsworth, who is being charged with Tampering with Physical Evidence. Ellsworth plead not guilty on December 11, with the case being continued until February 19.
Ellsworth, with the help of her Attorney Eric P. Bond, of Palmyra, filed a writ of habeas corpus on December 14. Writ of habeas corpus are invoked in cases where someone believes they’ve been wrongly detained. Ellsworth is being held in the Women’s Eastern Reception Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Vandalia.
Jerry Bill Asbell Jr. and Jessica Ellsworth, both of 304 Widow Lane in Monroe City, were then taken into custody on August 5, after officers were called to a residence for an assault. The two were later charged with additional charges for the alleged murder of Johnston on August 8.