$5K lawsuit filed against convicted murderer settled

By Joe Beck

FRONT ROYAL — A $5,000 settlement has ended a wrongful death lawsuit by family members of a murdered Front Royal woman against her assailant.

Warren County Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp approved the settlement between convicted murderer Kevin Scott Johnson and David and Deborah Rexroad, the father and mother of the victim, 21-year-old Ashley Rexroad.

Hupp sentenced Johnson in 2009 to 20 years in prison on a charge of murder and several other offenses related to Ashley Rexroad’s shooting death on April 6, 2008.

Hupp added another three years to the prison sentence after Johnson was convicted of assaulting another inmate in the jail a few months later. Johnson, now 31, received an additional year in prison during a hearing in general district court on the same assault charge.

The order approving the settlement, signed by Hupp on Oct. 23, eliminated the need for a jury trial that had been scheduled for two days last week in circuit court. A court document releasing Johnson from any further liability in the case states “this settlement shall never be treated as evidence of liability, or as an admission of liability or responsibility at any time or in any manner whatsoever.”

Kevin Leach, the Rexroads’ attorney, could not be reached for comment on the settlement. Bruce Levine, who represented Johnson, refused to comment.

Authorities say Johnson shot Ashley Rexroad in the chin as they struggled over control of a gun in their home in Shenandoah Shores. Prosecutors said off and on arguments throughout the day preceded the shooting.

The arguments escalated, and Johnson took a gun and pointed it at his face, according to law enforcement officials. Rexroad tried to take the gun from Johnson and was shot in the ensuing struggle, authorities said.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com