Palm Bay Man Wanted for Two Murders in Melbourne and Pennsylvania Arrested in Virginia

By  //  April 8, 2021

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Brian Karl Peters Jr. Charged with First-Degree Premeditated Murder

The suspect is identified as 33-year-old Brian Karl Peters Jr. from Palm Bay. Peters has been charged with first-degree premeditated murder, Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence, Criminal Use of ID and Duty to Report. (BCSO Image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Authorities in Virginia have arrested a Palm Bay man wanted for two murders, including one murder in Brevard County after the suspect allegedly killed 71-year-old Jo Ellen Johnson on January 13, 2021, in Melbourne at her residence.

The suspect is identified as 33-year-old Brian Karl Peters Jr. from Palm Bay.

Peters has been charged with first-degree premeditated murder, Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence, Criminal Use of ID and Duty to Report.

Police say detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Brian Karl Peters Jr. for premeditated murder on March 24 for the death of Jo Ellen Johnson. Before authorities could arrest him, Peters left the state for York, Pennsylvania. As authorities worked to track down Peters, Melbourne Police were in communication with authorities in Pennsylvania to arrest Peters once he was located.

However, on March 31, Peters was eventually pulled over for a traffic stop in Virginia. The car that Peters was driving was a stolen vehicle, police say.

As it turns out, Peters is also suspected of another murder that took place in York, Pennsylvania, that happened on March 30.

The West Manchester Police Department in Pennsylvania and the Melbourne Police Department are working together to successfully prosecute Peters for the two murders.

Brian Karl Peters Jr. has a very extensive and violent criminal history in Brevard County with charges dating back as far as 2010.

Some of the charges over the years include the following:

– Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon/ WO Intent to Kill
– Three Charges for Battery by Strangulation (Domestic Violence)
– Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon
– Robbery with a Weapon
– Multiple charges for Battery Domestic Violence
– Multiple charges for Felony Battery
– Criminal Mischief
– Disorderly Conduct

Melbourne Police found 71-year-old Jo Ellen Johnson dead at an old thrift shop that the elderly woman lived in on the block 2900 of South Harbor City Boulevard on January 13 after police were called to investigate Johnson’s disappearance.

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