CASPER, Wyo. — On March 4, a man suffering from multiple knife wounds to the stomach, torso, leg and neck was admitted to the Wyoming Medical Center. On March 6, a man named Robert Simmons drove his car off Chamberlain Road and into the North Platte River in Mills. Simmons later told police he was trying to “atone for his sins for stabbing a guy the other night,” a police affidavit states.
But when police interviewed alleged victim Robert Masterson on March 11, he identified a man named Zacharia Lee Johnson in a photo lineup as one of the two men who attacked him. He was unable to identify Simmons, according to the document.
Masterson reportedly told police that on the night of the incident he responded to a knock on his door and saw a female neighbor through the peephole. He told the woman to come in.
While Masterson was walking back toward his couch, he told police he was grabbed by the right side of his body. It was only at that point he realized his neighbor was not alone.
Masterson said when he asked Johnson what he was doing, Johnson responded, “You know, you son of a b----.”
Johnson then took Masterson to the ground and proceeded to stab him, the affidavit states. Masterson said he saw his neighbor, Pamela Nemetz, while he was rolling around on the floor.
When the alleged attack was through, Masterson said he got up, locked the door and dialed 911. The only reason he suspected there was another male involved is because he heard two different voices, he told police.
Police interviewed Nemetz, who eventually admitted to witnessing the attack. She told police Johnson and Simmons were in her apartment shortly prior to the incident, and she thought Johnson might have taken methamphetamine.
In an effort to locate Johnson, Casper police released a photo of him on their Facebook page on March 15.
Thursday afternoon, they posted an update:
“Thank you to all of those who called in reporting the whereabouts of Zack Johnson. With your help he was located and arrested,” the update read.
Johnson made his initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court on Thursday afternoon and was charged with aggravated assault, aggravated burglary and, from a separate incident, Family Violence Protection Act strangulation.
Casper Police Department Sgt. Deahn Amend said Simmons is being treated as a person with knowledge and has not been charged.
Johnson was given a $50,000 bond and will receive a preliminary hearing within 10 days to determine whether the charges will be transferred to District Court.