Missing semi recovered, driver charged with theft and DUI

J Anderson Farms tractor-trailer from Pulaski County at the center of a missing person turned theft and DUI case against its driver, Lawrence Irvin Johnson, of Nancy, who was arrested on 8-1-19

SOMERSET, Ky. (WTVQ) – A semi and its driver, both listed as missing, were found and the driver charged in two different counties, according to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies say Lawrence Irvin Johnson, of Nancy, left in an J Anderson Farms tractor-trailer to pick up a load of cattle in Athens, Georgia.  When he later couldn’t be reached, deputies opened an investigation on July 30, 2019.

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Deputies say due to the possibility that something may have happened to Johnson, he was listed as a missing person.

On July 31, the cattle were located in Lebanon, Tennessee at a stockyard, but there still no sign of Johnson or the tractor-trailer, according to deputies.

Later that same day, Kentucky State Police found the tractor-trailer at a Walmart in Columbia, Kentucky.  KSP says they also found Johnson and arrested him on a DUI charge.  He was taken to the Adair County Regional Jail, but was later released.

On August 1, Pulaski County Sheriff’s deputies obtained an arrest warrant for Johnson on a theft charge.  He was arrested later that day on West Waterloo Road in Nancy.  He was taken to the Pulaski County Detention Center, according to deputies.



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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.