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Cops: Suspects in minister murder allege drug deal gone bad

Jordan Craig (left) and Steven Kelley were arrested Nov. 12, 2014, in connection with the death of Chattanooga, Tenn., minister Kenneth Johnson.

CBS affiliate WDEF

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- Police arrested two suspects Wednesday in connection with the murder of a Chattanooga minister, reports CBS affiliate WDEF.

Steven Kelley, 22, of Ringgold, Ga., and Jordan Craig, 26 of Flinstone, Ga., are both facing murder and robbery charges.

The couple is accused of killing 59-year-old Kenneth Johnson, an associate minister at Mount Canaan Baptist Church. The suspects claiming he died during a drug deal that turned violent, according to police.

The Chatanoogan newspaper reports Johnson was beaten to death.

Investigators got a lead in the case when they found Johnson's cell phone, according to a police report obtained by WDEF.

The phone contained a text message to Johnson that asked him to go to an alley for an exchange of goods. Investigators called the number and spoke to Craig.

Craig reportedly told police that she agreed to meet Johnson to purchase narcotics but that he asked her to come alone.

She said the minister requested that she show him her breast and vagina in exchange for drugs, according to the police report.

But Craig told police she felt scared so she brought her boyfriend with her. She said he hid nearby in case the exchange went bad. She said Johnson approached her vehicle and and asked if he could touch her, but she allegedly refused the proposition.

After refusing the proposition, Craig said her boyfriend approached and was attacked by Johnson. She told police that her boyfriend was only trying to protect her.

But police say the boyfriend told them a different story.

He reportedly told investigators that he hid in the back seat of his girlfriend's car and was attacked by Johnson with a crowbar.

Kelley told police he was hit in the chest and head, but investigators said they only found a scratch on Kelley's head and no bruising on his chest.

Police decided to arrest the couple, because of the contradictions in their story.

Investigators did not find any of the drugs that the slain minister allegedly had.