Sullivan murder suspect caught after asking for directions; getaway driver rams Marshals


BLOUNTVILLE — Johnny Royston Jr. pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Monday in Sullivan County Criminal Court in the July 2017 shooting death of Rowdy Yates, Sullivan County Assistant District Attorney William Harper said. Royston, then 36, was captured after police identified him as a person of interest in the death of Yates, 44,  who was found early on a Saturday morning, beside a camper on a private drive with a gunshot wound to the head. In court Monday, Royston was sentenced to 20 years, to be served 100%, for the murder and an additional 25 years probation after that sentence for various other charges, Harper said. Royston and Yates knew each other and had an argument before the shooting, Harper said.