By Devese “Dee” Ursery
A trial date has been set in the case of a Missouri man accused of killing an acquaintance in March in Maryville.
Danyiel M. Johnson, 40, of St. Louis, is set to appear Feb. 6, 2023 in Madison County court on charges of first-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of an offense and unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon. He is currently awaiting trial in the St. Louis Detention Center on a $2 million bond.
Johnson is accused of the murder of Ronald L. Holland, 40, of Jennings, Missouri, according to court documents. Following the arrest, Maryville Police Chief Rob Carpenter, other law enforcement agencies and Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Haine held a press conference at the police station providing some details.
Haine said Johnson has a lengthy criminal history in Missouri and was last released from the Missouri Department of Corrections in December 2020 for a weapons charge.
“These charges together contain the possibility of life in prison for the defendant,” Haine said following the incident. “The murder charge alone is typically 20-60 years in prison, but with a firearm enhancement, which we believe applies in this case is 45 to life.”
At approximately 4:05 p.m. on March 17, Maryville police were dispatched to a 911 call of a dead male in the 2000 block of Bluff Road in Collinsville. The Maryville police requested assistance from the Major Case Squad of Greater St.Louis in the investigation.
Carpenter said after establishing the death was a homicide, due to having limited resources the department requested the assistance of the Major Case Squad.
“We got a call to the scene of a deceased subject,” Carpenter said. “We immediately established the fact that it was a homicide. Due to Maryville having limited resources (Maryville PD has one detective), we immediately activated the Major Case Squad requesting their assistance. Within 30 minutes investigators from all over (the Metro-east) started to arrive.”
Carpenter added the situation did not involve local residents.
“I would like to also say that this particular situation really had not much to do with Maryville, both the victim and the suspect were just passing through, and just happened to pull over in our city limits and commit this heinous act,” he said.
Jeff Conner, commander of the Major Case Squad, said this is what the squad was designed for.
“But also it’s hand-in-hand with the Cross River Crimes Task Force that Mr. (Tom) Haine established; and being the commander of that also, it has similar investigative tools that we can use towards this crime,” Conner said. “Because, as you’ll see, these are residents of Missouri that ended up in this location and a crime was committed.”
Johnson and Holland knew each other and were riding in a car together and for unknown reasons they stopped on North Bluff Road. Police allege Johnson shot Holland and fled the scene in Holland’s car which was later found in St. Louis.
If there is anyone with additional information on the case, they are requested to call the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis at 866-371-8477.