Man wanted in Ocean Springs killing arrested in Louisiana

Nicky Joe Johns
Nicky Joe Johns

Nicky Joe Johns, wanted on a murder charge in Ocean Springs, has been captured in Lafayette, Louisiana, where he was found in a garbage can after a pursuit, a detective said.

Johns, 37, of Columbia, Tennessee, is wanted in the fatal shooting of an acquaintance, Christopher Rochelle, Monday in the parking lot of the Travelodge hotel on Bienville Boulevard. Rochelle also was 37 and from Columbia.

U.S. marshals arrested Johns following a pursuit Thursday afternoon that started on Interstate 10, Ocean Springs Police Capt. William Jackson said. He said a marshal notified him of the capture about 3 p.m.

Johns was westbound on I-10 and had a female passenger in the vehicle when he turned off into Lafayette, Jackson said. Johns jumped out of the vehicle and started to run. He led marshals and Lafayette officers on a foot pursuit before they found him hiding in a garbage can.

Johns injured his foot and was taken to a hospital for treatment, Jackson said.

The female was taken into custody. It wasn’t immediately clear if she faces any charges.

Jackson said he was talking with authorities in Lafayette on arrangements to bring Johns back to Ocean Springs.

Police were called to the hotel about 4 p.m. Monday on a complaint of a dead body in the parking lot.

Johns and Rochelle had come to the Coast together but were not registered at the hotel, Jackson said.

A motive for the slaying remains unclear.

Johns, a felon, is on probation for evading arrest in Tennessee. His probationary period would have ended Sept. 13. He now faces a probation warrant.

Several people came forward with information to help lead to Johns’ capture, Jackson said.

He said agencies assisting in the investigation include the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force, the FBI Safe Street Task Force, the George County Sheriff’s Department and the Mississippi Highway Patrol.

Robin Fitzgerald: 228-896-2307, @robincrimenews