Joseph “JJ” Johnson of Old Town arrives in the courtroom at the Penobscot Judicial Center on Dec. 6, 2019. Credit: Natalie Williams / BDN

An Old Town man who was charged with murder and arson in Bangor will be allowed to leave jail to attend his father’s funeral in August.

A judge decided that Joseph Johnson, 31 — who allegedly killed Berton Conley, 59, in December 2019 — is not an immediate threat to the public, WABI  reported. His father’s funeral is on Aug. 1.

Johnson and Cote Choneska, 40, of Veazie were arrested Dec. 4, 2019 for allegedly slaying Conley before setting his home on Essex Street on fire. Conley’s body was found in his living room near a large pool of blood, with a damaged revolver, handgun holster and container of lighter fluid nearby, according to an affidavit.

The cause of death was not released, but a detective observed “extensive injuries to Berton’s face and the top of his head,” the affidavit said.

Both men were ordered to be held without bail at the Penobscot County Jail.

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Matt Berg

Matt is a senior at UMass Amherst, studying journalism and history. Before joining the Bangor Daily News, he was the managing editor of his student newspaper and interned at the Boston Globe.