A man suspected of murdering a man in the Volga community of Flat Gap in August pleaded not guilty to a charge of first-degree manslaughter during his arraignment Friday.

Curtis’ charge stems from an investigation which began when Kentucky State Police Post 9 responded to a call on Aug. 27 from Johnson County 911 dispatch reporting a person had possibly been shot, and the person who called them was unable to advise who the shooter was, according to a statement from KSP.

Upon troopers’ arrival, the statement said, it was determined Mike Jones, 58, of Flat Gap, was dead at the scene, possibly due to a gunshot. Jones was pronounced dead at the scene by the Johnson County Coroner’s office, according to the statement.

An arrest warrant was issued for Curtis on Aug, 29, according to the statement from KSP.

On Sep. 7, Curtis contacted then-Johnson County Jailer Doug Saylor, stating that he would “turn himself in to him,” according to a statement from Curtis’ attorney Kimberly Osborne O’Bryan. Curtis was located around the area of the “highway garage” on Ky. 172 and was taken into custody “with no incident,” the statement said.

“Today, Walter Lee Curtis, voluntarily sought out and relinquished himself to the custody of Johnson County Jailer, Doug Saylor and the Kentucky State Police,” Osborne-O’Bryan said the day of Curtis’ arrest. “He did so with absolute confidence in the judicial process and is anxious for the entire truth of the incident to come to light.”

A pretrial conference is set in Curtis’ case for May 5

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