Texas man arraigned on murder charges in connection with Greenbrier County cold case

LEWISBURG, W.Va. — A Texas man was arraigned Thursday in Greenbrier County Circuit Court after being charged with murder in connection with the disappearance of a man in 2007.

Charles Michael “Cason” Kessinger (WVRJA)

State police said Charles Michael “Cason” Kessinger has been charged with murder and robbery in the death of James Johansen of Lewisburg.

A Thursday news release from state police said Johansen was reported missing in June 2007. Troopers investigated the disappearance for 14 years and then in September 2021 responded with Greenbrier County deputies to a report of skeletal remains being found near Muddy Creek Mountain. Authorities later learned the remains were that of Johansen.

Troopers said new and old leads led them to Kessinger. A Greenbrier County grand jury indicted him on murder and robbery charges last month. Troopers traveled to San Antonio, Texas recently and with the help of Texas Rangers arrested Kessinger at his home.

He was arraigned on the charges Thursday afternoon before Greenbrier County Circuit Judge Robert Richardson who set a pretrial hearing for Dec. 20.

Kessinger is being held in the Southern Regional Jail without bail.

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