New details revealed in St. Lawrence County murder case

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 5:53 PM EDT
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TOWN OF DEKALB, N.Y. (WWNY) - We’re learning more about a shooting that left one man dead just outside of Richville Tuesday morning. It’s a story of a big fight, plenty of firepower, and maybe drugs.

A painstaking investigation led to the arrest of 29-year-old John Anson on a murder charge Tuesday. It’s alleged he killed 40-year-old Justin Massey.

“The initial call was just an intruder and then when we got there, obviously, it was a homicide,” said St. Lawrence County Sheriff Brooks Bigwarfe.

Court documents allege at least two shots were fired in a trailer at 580 County Route 18 in the town of DeKalb.

According to the papers, one shot was fired by 51-year-old Charles Anson and another by his son, 29-year-old John Anson. It’s alleged only the younger Anson’s shot hit Massey.

“We respond to the scene. Obviously, we make sure everything is safe and then we started doing interviews with occupants of the residence,” said Bigwarfe.

Witness statements describe a big fight between John Anson and Massey over a woman, 25-year-old Kayla Briggs, who was there. But police aren’t so sure. They’re investigating the fight and if illicit drugs were involved in some way.

“When you are dealing with illicit drugs, drug sales, you always get the corresponding possibility of danger and some assaults that are going to occur,” said Bigwarfe.

Witness statements also describe lots of firepower on hand - a couple rifles, a shotgun, handguns and an allegedly illegally-produced weapon “like a machine gun.”

The investigation that led to the murder charge was swift. But the sheriff is emphasizing this investigation as a whole is far from over. They’re even looking into any possible connection with a trailer fire that occurred 5 miles away.

It happened on Cole Road about 4 hours after the shooting. People who lived there allegedly frequented the Ansons’ property.

“We had several investigators that were involved questioning … other people in the area that were associated with these individuals,” said Bigwarfe.

As the investigation continues, John Anson remains in jail with no bail. His father, charged with reckless endangerment and evidence tampering, was released after his arraignment.

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