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Bond set for suspect in carjacking, murder, high speed chase near La Crosse

LA CROSSE, WI (WTAQ) - A half-million dollar bond was set Monday for a man suspected of car-jacking a taxi in Grant County, putting its driver in the trunk, and killing the victim in a crash at the end of a high-speed police chase near La Crosse.  

25-year-old Timmy Johnson Jr. has been arrested but not charged in the death last week of 79-year-old Merle Forbes.

A La Crosse judge found Monday there was probable cause for charges that include causing death by reckless driving. Also, prosecutors say Johnson could face homicide charges in either La Crosse or Grant counties. His next court appearance is set for Thursday.

Officials said he was released from jail just hours before he robbed and stabbed Forbes. Police found the stolen cab in downtown La Crosse early last Friday. A chase ensued, and the cab rear-ended another vehicle before flipping over.

Forbes died while in the trunk. Three people in the other unit had minor injuries. His lawyer said Johnson had unresolved mental health issues, and did not get his medications while in the Grant County Jail.

The La Crosse Tribune said it was not Johnson's first brush with Forbes. Last August, Forbes' cab reportedly drove Johnson from Darlington to Boscobel -- and Johnson skipped out before he could pay the $90 fare.

(Story courtesy of Wheeler News Service)