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Man indicted on murder charge in Akron dirt bike dispute

Posted at 2:01 PM, Apr 12, 2017

A Streetsboro man accused of shooting and killing another man during a dispute over a dirt bike has been indicted for murder. 

William Knight, 63, was indicted on two counts of murder and two counts of felonious assault in connection with the death of 24-year-old Keith Johnson.

Shirley Johnson, the grandmother of Keith Johnson, says her son left three kids behind.

" I can't get that out of my head. My grandson lying on the ground dead," Johnson said.

The dispute was over a dirt bike that was reported stolen last year. A 40-year-old man said the Yamaha bike was stolen from his unlocked garage on Annapolis Avenue.

That man later noticed that his bike was up for sale on a social media site.

RELATED: Relatives of man killed in dirt bike dispute want accused killer to be charged with murder

On March 20, the man met up with the seller — Johnson — on Danmead Avenue. The man brought his wife and Knight, his father-in-law.

During the altercation, the 40-year-old man grabbed the bike. Johnson then tried to drive off in the direction of the 40-year-old, according to police. A shooting witness and friend of Johnson's, Brandon Ward, disputed that claim.

“They’re taking somebody else’s word that didn’t even see the whole thing," Ward told News 5.

Ward also told News 5 Johnson purchased the bike from a neighbor and did not steal it.

During the altercation, Knight pulled out a gun and shot Johnson on the bike.

In the 911 call, Knight admitted to shooting the man. "I had to. He was trying to run into my daughter," he said. 

Johnson's family stands by his innocence and how he bought the bike from another seller.

Knight was initially charged with involuntary manslaughter. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Summit County Common Pleas Court on April 19.