The Monroe County Courthouse.

Two suspects being held on charges related to the murder of Amanda K. Johnston appeared in court this past week. Johnston, was found murdered on August 8, after an endangered missing person case was filed on August 5. Both suspects were arrested on August 6.

On August 25, Jessica M. Ellsworth appeared with Public Defender Austin Smith, before Honorable Judge Michael P. Wilson at the Monroe County Courthouse. Ellsworth’s cause was continued to Tuesday, September 8 at 1:30 p.m. for a Preliminary Hearing. Ellsworth’s bond status continued at no bond.  

Ellsworth is being held on Tampering with Physical Evidence charge, in the case of the murder of Amanda K. Johnston with no bond after a probable cause statement explained admission in helping relocate the body of the victim. Ellsworth is being held in the Macon County Jail.

On September 4, Jerry Asbell, Jr. appeared in court via WebEx, being represented by Public Defender Attorney Jennifer Richardson, before Honorable Judge Wilson at the Monroe County Courthouse. The court advised Asbell of the receipt of a written waiver of preliminary hearing dated September 1. Asbell confirmed his desire to waive preliminary hearing. After inquiry, the court found Asbell’s waiver is made knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently and with full understanding of his rights. Accordingly, the waiver was accepted by the court. The court finds probable cause to believe Asbell committed felonies as alleged in the State’s complaint. Asbell was bound over to Circuit Court, Division Six for arraignment on Thursday, October 1 at 10 a.m. Asbell’s bond status of no bond continues. Asbell is being held in the Marion County Jail on charges of First-Degree Murder.