Bridge jumper identified as Taylor Johnson - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Bridge jumper identified as Taylor Johnson

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) -

Authorities confirm the young man who died after jumping off the I-210 bridge is Taylor Johnson-- the man prosecutors  say is the one who started the trouble that ultimately led to the shooting death of Marine Daniel Gueringer at a Fourth of July party in 2009. 

Johnson was awaiting trial on a charge of inciting a riot.  He figured prominently in the trial of Bryce Perkins earlier this year when various witnesses' testimony suggested Johnson's behavior that night suggested he was looking for a fight, and set in motion the events that ultimately led to the killing.

According to testimony, Johnson called Perkins and another friend, Austin Rousseau, to the party where Gueringer was shot to death. District Attorney John DeRosier said then that Johnson was fixed for trial this summer.  "Taylor Johnson is charged with inciting a riot... And he is charged because he's the one who instigated all of this. He's the one that started all the problems at the party."

The trial earlier this year seemed to grip the community as the facts began to unfold. Johnson's trial was refixed for November for inciting a riot. In reacting to Johnson's death,  District Attorney John DeRosier said it's a tragedy all the way around. "Taylor Johnson was a troubled young man involved in some charges here at this office. That's all history now. Our hearts simply go out to the family. This was a very unfortunate event. I know that his family's got to be very distraught about all this and again our sympathy goes out to that family."

Services for Taylor Johnson are being handled by Johnson Funeral Home.  

According to Calcasieu Sheriff's Deputies, Johnson jumped out of a moving truck crossing the I-210 bridge and climbed onto the bridge railing.  Deputies say the driver of the truck tried to talk Johnson down, but that he jumped over the railing.  The news release follows.

Copyright 2011 KPLC. All rights reserved

The following is a news release from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office:
 
Lake Charles – On July 27 around 1:00 a.m., Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office deputies were dispatched to the I-210 bridge regarding a man who had jumped off the bridge.
           
The initial investigation revealed the man, Taylor R. Johnson, 22, Lake Charles, was a passenger in a truck traveling westbound up the bridge.  About a quarter ways up the bridge, Johnson jumped out of the moving truck and climbed onto the railing of the bridge.  The driver of the truck stopped and tried to talk Johnson down, but he jumped over the railing of the bridge.
           
At around 5:00 a.m., CPSO Marine Division, along with the assistance of U.S. Coast Guard, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, and Louisiana State Police, recovered Johnson's body.

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