Marine Arrested in Slaying of Student Shot While Designated-Driving on New Year's
A U.S. Marine has been identified as the man taken into custody today in Arizona in connection with the slaying of a 20-year-old University of North Texas student who was shot in the head while designated-driving early New Year's Day.
The Marine Corps identified him as Cpl. Eric Johnson of Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-1. Johnson was stationed at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona.
Johnson "was taken into custody at approximately 6:30 a.m. at the North Gate of the installation in fulfillment of a warrant issued in connection to an alleged shooting in Denton, Texas," the Marine Corps said. "MCAS Yuma Provost Marshall's Office and Naval Criminal Investigative Service assisted the US Marshal Service and the Yuma Police Department in the detainment of Johnson and remain in support of the US Marshal's ongoing investigation."
The Denton, Texas, Police Department said today that Johnson, 20, was found in Yuma, Arizona, and was served with an arrest warrant this morning.
Denton police said this afternoon that they are still in the early stages of the investigation.
The victim, Sara Mutschlechner, was the designated driver for her friends in Texas in the early morning of New Year's Day when men in a black SUV pulled up next to their car and exchanged words with them, Denton police officer Shane Kizer told ABC News this weekend. The exchange was "peaceful at first," but the suspects then "made some comments towards the girls, and it escalated from there," Kizer said.