16-year-old pleads guilty to murdering Crofton engineer, 25

July 27, 1991|By Brian Sullam

A 16-year-old Baltimore youth has pleaded guilty to the 1990 robbery slaying of David Gordon, a 25-year-old Crofton engineer who was shot twice while pleading for his life as he lay in a snow bank in a Charles Village parking lot.

Prosecutors are recommending a life sentence with all but 55 years suspended for O'Donald Johnson under a plea agreement presented to Baltimore Circuit Judge Joseph I. Pines on Thursday.

Although he is a juvenile and was a ninth-grader when he shot Mr. Gordon to death, city prosecutors elected to try Johnson as an adult. Under Maryland law, any youth over 14 charged with murder can be tried as an adult. Formal sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 4.

On Dec. 28, Johnson and another youth, 16-year-old Antonio Maurice Little, held up Mr. Gordon at 5:50 p.m. as the victim was walking to his car from his office at the civil engineering firm of Whitman, Requardt and Associates, located at St. Paul and East streets.

According to the statement of facts presented by Assistant State's Attorney Mark P. Cohen, it was Johnson who had armed himself with the murder weapon, a .22-caliber pistol. As Mr. Gordon handed over a wallet containing $60 and two credit cards, Johnson shot the victim and then ordered him to lie down on the ground.

"Don't kill me, don't kill me, I've got kids, don't kill me," begged Mr. Gordon, the father of a 4-year-old and an infant, as he complied.

Just seconds later Johnson fired another shot that pierced Mr. Gordon's left arm and entered his chest, according to the statement of facts.

As the two youths fled, Mr. Gordon staggered across the deserted company parking lot to Calvert Street, where he

collapsed. A neighbor found the victim and called an ambulance, which took Mr. Gordon to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he died four hours later.

Two and a half hours later and two blocks away, Johnson and Little attempted to hold up Andrew Bienstock, a WJHU employee who was going to work. He had no money but was carrying a meatball submarine sandwich, which they took and then dropped.

Mr. Bienstock told police about the attempted robbery, and police scoured the neighborhood for the youths described.

Officers caught Little as he was trying to enter a house in the 2600 block of North Howard Street. They spotted Johnson behind the house and caught him after a brief chase. They also recovered a gun that Johnson had discarded during the chase.

Mr. Bienstock then identified the two youths as the ones who tried to hold him up, and ballistics tests on the recovered gun determined that it was used to murder Mr. Gordon.

On May 21, Little pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, robbery with a deadly weapon and the use of a handgun. At the time, he also agreed to testify against Johnson.

Prosecutors are recommending that Little be sentenced to not more than 30 years in prison. He is scheduled to appear before Judge Pines on Sept. 16.

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