Sullivan County

Wife of homicide victim is in shock this happened and wants justice

Wife of homicide victim is in shock...

Victim of Sullivan County homicide...

The manhunt for Johnny Royston Jr.  is intensifying.

New Monday, Sullivan County Sheriff Wayne Anderson said they have a warrant to charge him with second degree murder.

Officials said they responded to Eaton Private Drive in Bristol, Tennessee just before 12:30 Saturday morning.

They found 44-year-old Rowdy Yates, unconscious with a gunshot wound.

Officers have been searching Sullivan County since and now in Bristol, Virginia also.

Sullivan County deputies say they believe Royston is driving a black Nissan Sentra stolen in Washington county, Virginia.

The Virginia tag reads LOWES6. The car may have blue tape on the left tail light.

Also new Monday, Royston Jr's mom, Patsy Royston has been charged with giving false information to officers.

News 5's Jessica Griffith has been following this story since it started.

She's talking to the victim's wife, who is still in shock her husband was killed.

Kim Yates has been with her husband Rowdy for 13 years. She wants justice and having the suspect on the run is scary, especially for their 7-year-old daughter.

"He's a good man. He's a good dad. Well liked by the community, he's well known and would help anybody," Yates said.

She said she talked to rowdy about 9:30 Friday night, when he called to say goodnight to his daughter.

Kim sent him a text about midnight and didn't hear anything back.

When officers showed up to her house about 4:30 Saturday morning, she knew something was wrong.

"And they asked me to remove the child I knew it was bad," Yates said.

Kim said he was a family man, loved by his kids, including 7-year-old Kinsley.

"I had very much fun he'd always come play with me and I love him very much and I miss him," Kinsley said.

While she can't have her husband back, Kim is looking for justice.

"Having justice for my husband so she can sleep at night. She can't sleep at night knowing that he's out running around, it scares her," Kim said.

Since the incident early Saturday morning, local law enforcement has responded to multiple sightings of Royston.

Rhey believe he has friends allowing him to use their vehicles.

"We found all those vehicles and then on Sunday, we found another vehicle, a Suzuki Sidekick and then we found a motorcycle that he'd been on, which he charged at the officers on that motorcycle," Sullivan County Sheriff Wayne Anderson said.

Sunday night, an officer spotted one of those cars off of exit 5 in Bristol, Virginia.

"He was in that vehicle and it was being operated by his mother. He ran at the sight of a police car they went by. The police saw him went to turn around come back. once he saw that, he ran," Sergeant Crawford said.

His mother, Patsy is now charged with giving false information to an officer.

"People need to stop helping him. And people need to let our family grieve and bury my husband," Kim said.

Sgt. Crawford said patsy told officers she was alone, so he had time to run again.

"He had a really good head start last night," Crawford said.

Now, the Yates family will continue to wait and honor the man they love.

"We just figure out a way to move on and just deal with it," Kim said.


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