Brevard County Jury Convicts John Dwyer in 2014 Domestic Strangulation Murder of Joan Meta Justis
By Space Coast Daily // May 9, 2018
convicted of First Degree Premeditated Murder
Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Possibility of Parole
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – A Brevard County jury convicted John Francis Dwyer, 57, of First Degree Premeditated Murder in the April 30, 2014 death of his live-in girlfriend, 52-year-old Joan Meta Justis.
Dwyer was found to have strangled Justis and then fled the couple’s home in the Cypress Cove Apartments, located at 7667 N. Wickham Road in Melbourne.
“The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office learned of the murder and located Justis’s body after Brian Onek, an attorney hired to represent Dwyer, reported the death,” said Tod Brown, Public Information and Communications Office of the State Attorney 18th Judicial Circuit.
“A subsequent investigation identified Dwyer as the suspect and he was arrested May 4, 2014, and charged with Justis’s murder.”
Brown said that in a twist of events, Onek, who was fired by Dwyer as his attorney, testified in the trial and helped prosecutors obtain the conviction.
Assistant State Attorney Russ Bausch who oversaw and directed the nearly four-year-long prosecution said: “On behalf of the victim’s family and our office, we are very grateful for the attentive and dedicated job of the jury. The agonizing four year wait for the family to have Dwyer answer for the brutal murder of Joan Justis is finally over.”
Judge David Dugan sentenced Dwyer to Life in Prison without the possibility of parole.
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