Local mechanics fixing murder victim’s truck free of charge

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A mechanic shop in Grants Pass is giving back to the family of a man who was murdered last weekend.

They’re finishing repairs on his truck free of charge.

The mechanics are teaming up to repair the transmission of a Dodge truck that belonged to murder victim, Tobias Johnson.

Grants Pass Police say Johnson was murdered Saturday, January 22nd outside of Flespy’s Bar and Grill.

“What had happened is that he [Johnson] had dropped his pickup off at T&S Transmission – Tyler, because his transmission went out. Tyler is the guy who also re-builds transmissions for us and we opted to work in conjunction with him to take it out and put it back in to help him out,” said Brandon Harford. He and Joel Mesman own the mechanic shop ‘Harford and Mesman’.

The two have been in business for a little over 2 years, in fact, Harford knew Johnson personally – “I’ve known him a long time, probably since I was 16,” he said – so when the news broke about Johnson’s death, the duo says they knew immediately they wanted to help out with the pickup.

“When the discussion came up, it was a no-brainer, and the rest of the guys in the community, too,” said Mesman.

Harford and Mesman say 3 Grants Pass boys helped by bringing the truck over to the mechanics so they can begin taking out the transmission.

The men say they’re donating at least 8 hours of their time into making sure the truck will run smoothly once again.

“I know his son’s going to drive this truck so I hope that works out great for him and he gets to live out what his dad worked hard for,” said Harford.

The mechanics say the cost for repairing the transmission is upwards of $6,000.

They expect the Dodge pick-up to be up and running sometime next week.

NBC5 News reporter Mariah Mills is a Medford native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor's Degree in journalism. She also minored in sociology. In school, she covered Oregon athletics for the student-run television station, Duck TV. When she's not reporting, she’s reading, hiking and rooting for her favorite teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the Oregon Ducks.
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