DV murder accused’s US past exposed

The former US marine accused of killing his estranged wife, Queensland mum of three Kelly Wilkinson, filed for bankruptcy in the US and also faced minor legal issues in Ohio stemming from a petty theft charge and a speeding violation.

US Federal records showed that Brian Johnston - originally from Creston, Ohio - and Wilkinson filed for bankruptcy in 2012 with the case not closed until 2018.

State records also showed that Johnston pleaded guilty to a petty theft charge in 2005 for which he reportedly served no jail time and, in 2006, he was charged with a minor misdemeanour of speeding for which he was fined US$50 ($A64.91).

 

Brian Johnston is the estranged husband of Kelly Wilkinson and has been charged with her murder at Arundel on the Gold Coast. Picture Facebook
Brian Johnston is the estranged husband of Kelly Wilkinson and has been charged with her murder at Arundel on the Gold Coast. Picture Facebook

 

Records also showed that Johnston and Wilkinson had bought a home in Burbank, Ohio in 2013.

The real estate listing describes the house as "country living with peace and quiet in Wayne County".

The four-bedroom, two bathroom home sits on two hectares, and the agent says the owner will "enjoy your mornings or evening on your screened in covered back porch right off the dining area".

 

The former couple’s home in the US in Ohio. Picture: Supplied
The former couple’s home in the US in Ohio. Picture: Supplied

 

The home's current resident, Kimberly Wysong, told News Corp Australia that she and her husband had known Johnston since 2005 but would not comment further.

The 34-year-old Johnston enlisted in the US Marines in 2005 and served two tours of Iraq during 2007-2009 where he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon Medal.

He also received personal awards for the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal.

 

Kelly Wilkinson was found dead at Arundel on the Gold Coast. Picture: Facebook
Kelly Wilkinson was found dead at Arundel on the Gold Coast. Picture: Facebook

 

Johnston reached the rank of E4 Corporal and was a specialist Fixed Wing Aircraft Airframe Mechanic before leaving the military in 2010.

Captain Andrew Wood of the US Marine Corps confirmed the details of Johnston's military record to News Corp Australia but could not say whether he had been dishonourably discharged.

"Character of service is considered administrative and thus not releasable due to privacy concerns," Captain Wood he said.

After The Courier-Mail yesterday revealed her alleged killer was granted simple watch-house bail on serious criminal charges just eight days before Kelly was burned alive, Assistant Commissioner Brian Codd promised an internal review into police handling of the case.

It came as the nation's leaders from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to Prime Minister Scott Morrison weighed in over the tragedy which has again highlighted the need for urgent reform on domestic violence laws.

If you need help, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or 1800RESPECT: 1800 737 732.

 

Originally published as DV murder accused's US past exposed



Burnett: ‘Local councils ignored’ in budget

Premium Content Burnett: ‘Local councils ignored’ in budget

“It is ridiculous the number one request from local councils was ignored.”

Queensland Ballet brings biggest regional tour to CQ

Premium Content Queensland Ballet brings biggest regional tour to CQ

Queensland Ballet is coming back to Central Queensland, with its regional tour...

Police ‘find marijuana’ after push bike crash

Premium Content Police ‘find marijuana’ after push bike crash

Emergency services were called to Gladstone Central on Tuesday afternoon.