A fifth friend at the Kansas City Chiefs watch party that preceded the mysterious deaths of three men offered a new account of the men’s final hours.
The bodies of Ricky Johnson, 38; Clayton McGeeney, 36; and David Harrington, 37, were discovered on Jan. 9 after one man’s fiancée told Kansas City police she had not heard from her partner in two days. Two of the men were found in the snow outside Jordan Willis’ rental home, while the other was found dead on the man’s back porch.
The Kansas City Police Department told Fox News Digital that they are awaiting the results of the men’s post-autopsy toxicology reports.
The fifth man who was at the home on Jan. 7, who has not been named publicly, told FOX4 Kansas City that Willis and the three men were still awake when he left the home at Northwest 83rd Terrace that night. He stressed that he was not the last person to see the men alive.
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His attorney, Andrew Talge, told the outlet that his client arrived at the residence to watch the Chiefs play the Los Angeles Chargers around 7 p.m., and he left at approximately midnight.
When his client left, Talge said, the other four men were awake watching “Jeopardy.”
John Picerno, the attorney representing Willis, told Fox News Digital on Wednesday that the fifth man left his client’s house first, then said goodbye to the other three men before falling asleep on his couch.
In an earlier interview with FOX4, Picerno said Willis went to sleep while the four men were still awake and hanging out at the house.
Ross Nigro, an attorney representing Johnson’s family, said that news of a fifth person in the house is yet another example of inconsistency.
“Initially, he was by himself; now there was a fifth magical person who was at the house,” Nigro said. “The fact that the story has changed significantly makes it seem unbelievable and not trustworthy whatsoever. In addition to Mr. Willis leaving the residence and hiring a criminal defense attorney, those are all signs of someone hiding something.”
Nigro claims a still-living party who was at the gathering recalled that Willis’ two dogs were present at the watch party preceding the men’s deaths, remarking that “if you have a dog and there’s three deceased people at the house, they would alert you to the bodies.”
It is unclear whether that party was the fifth man referred to in the new reports.
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However, Picerno claims that the animals were boarded at his client’s father’s house during the gathering.
After the men left, Picerno said, Willis slept “a lot of the time” during the subsequent 48 hours. Meanwhile, the friends and family of McGeeney, Johnson and Harrington said they called, emailed, texted and messaged him on Facebook when they could not contact their loved ones.
At least two concerned parties said they knocked on Willis’ door before police responded to the home at approximately 8:51 p.m. on Jan. 9, but he did not answer the door.
Picerno denied those claims in a Tuesday interview with Fox News Digital.
“The thing that strikes me that’s strange about that is that none of those people called him on his cellphone,” he said. “One of them, I believe it was the fiancée, did send him a message on Facebook Messenger. But he didn’t receive it until after police had.”
The fiancée allegedly broke into the back of the home after her calls and knocks went unanswered and called police after finding one of the three bodies on Willis’ back porch. FOX4 reported that she shouted for Willis inside the house.
“The thing that strikes me that’s strange about that is that none of those people called him on his cellphone.”
According to the victims’ families, Willis met officers at the door in his boxers with an empty wine glass in hand. Picerno told Fox News Digital it contained water and had been refilled after holding wine the night before.
Picerno said his client did not hear knocks at his door before the police arrived because he was sleeping with noise-canceling headphones and a loud fan. Willis also did not hear when the concerned woman broke into his house, Picerno said.
The Kansas City Police Department has stressed that Willis is not suspected of any wrongdoing and is not facing criminal charges.
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“First and foremost, this case is 100% not being investigated as a homicide,” Capt. Jake Becchina of the Kansas City Police Department previously told Fox News Digital. “There have not been any arrests [or] charges, and no one is in custody. There are no specific threats or concerns for the surrounding community at this time. The resident at the house was cooperative with detectives the day the deceased were discovered.”
However, Johnson’s family has retained an attorney to compel a more thorough investigation into their son’s death.
Picerno said his client allowed police to search his home without a warrant or an attorney present. Nigro, the attorney representing Johnson’s family, said police carried out a second, more thorough investigation two days later.
Johnson, a father of three, never showed up for work at his father’s construction company that Monday. At that time, Rickie Johnson Sr. told Fox News Digital, his family worked to find the address where his son watched the game.
Johnson’s father said a police presence had already amassed when he and family members pulled up to Willis’ house on Jan. 9.
“They told us to wait, for four hours, and they would tell us what they found,” Johnson Sr. said Tuesday. “We waited all night and they never called. We called them the next day, and they still wouldn’t give us any information. So, I called an attorney.”
Since then, Johnson’s mother, Norma Chester, told Fox News Digital detectives have only reached out twice, once to inquire about whether they knew the password for their son’s phone.
“How do they go in a backyard and freeze to death, all three of them?”
Chester and Johnson Sr. doubt police assertions that Willis was not involved in their son’s death.
“He may have done some drugs and stuff in the past, but I do not believe all three of them did drugs and fell over dead in that backyard,” Johnson Sr. said of his son. “I’m not going to say that during a game he didn’t have some drinks. But he wasn’t irresponsible that he was going to go outside and freeze to death.”
“You’re talking about three grown men. If he was out there just freezing like they said, he could’ve kicked out a window to get into the house,” the father continued.
Johnson Sr. also said that his son’s coat was found inside Willis’ home and that the 38-year-old construction worker would “never leave the house without a coat.”
The father told Fox News Digital that he suspected that Willis “drugged them, dragged them outside and waited two days to call police.”
“Seriously, these were responsible men. How do they go in a backyard and freeze to death, all three of them,” Johnson’s mother told Fox News Digital.
“He’s a scientist, and somehow he’s to blame? That’s an opinion not based in fact.”
Willis has since moved out of his rental home “in fear of retaliation” after a flurry of media attention about his friends’ deaths, according to Picerno. He has also taken a leave of absence from his job as a data scientist at IAVI, a nonprofit that develops vaccines for infectious diseases.
Chester said her mother’s intuition tells her the men were poisoned.
“Something that comes to my mind, this guy wants to brag about how smart he is, he’s a scientist. My thoughts are that he concocted something and gave it to all three men. I know I’m just thinking, but how could this have happened?” she said.
Picerno called accusations of drugging or poisoning “ridiculous.”
“He’s a scientist, and somehow he’s to blame? That’s an opinion not based in fact,” the attorney said.
“There’s no allegation of any animosity between Jordan and his three friends,” Picerno told Fox News Digital on Tuesday. “People want to speculate, [but] it’s not like anyone ever called the police saying, ‘We’re afraid of this Jordan guy.'”
Picerno said two of the three men had been friends with Willis since high school, and the third was a close friend for about four years.
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“They went to watch the Chiefs game together. Jordan had bought four tickets to the Chiefs game for the following Sunday, so they could go together,” Picerno said. “I understand that people are hurting, but that’s no excuse to throw baseless accusations at Jordan.”
“The No. 1 thing that people need to remember from our point of view is that these were his three buddies. If they were in danger, he would’ve helped them,” Picerno said. “If he knew they were out there, he would’ve called the police himself. Anything beyond that is pure speculation.”
Source: Fox News