A 27-year-old Glen Burnie man pleaded guilty yesterday to manslaughter in the December 1990 shooting of a New York man in an apparent dispute over a drug debt.
William I. Johnson Jr. of the 200 block of Woodhill Road pleaded guilty in County Circuit Court in the death of Jerry Tyrone "Petey" Cadogan, 19, of New York and Barbados. Cadogan'sbody was found last Dec. 20 in woods off Shot Town Road in Arnold.
In return for the plea, prosecutors will recommend that Johnson be sentenced to 10 years in prison, with all but four years suspended,when he is sentenced Jan. 17.
Assistant State's Attorney Eugene M. Whissel II told a judge yesterday that Cadogan died of a single gunshot wound to the side of the head. He said the bullet was fired from6 to 18 inches away.
Whissel said Johnson had originally told police that he and Cadogan were driving on Interstate 97, returning froma trip to Washington to buy drugs, when a car pulled alongside them and Cadogan said, "That must be my home boy from D.C."
Johnson told police they pulled over and, after a discussion in an indecipherable Jamaican dialect, a man from the car shot Cadogan and fled. Johnsonsaid he then dumped Cadogan's body.
When that story could not be verified, Johnson confessed to shooting Cadogan, but he claimed it was in self-defense, the prosecutor said. Johnson apparently explained the dispute to a relative by saying Cadogan drew a gun after demanding Johnson give him money owed to another person for drugs, Whissel said.
Whissel said he agreed to the plea bargain because he thought the state only could prove man slaughter with Johson's confession, the basis for prosecuting the case.
When Cadogan's body was found, authorities wondered whether the killing was linked to the drug-related, execution-style slaying of Darryll Downs, an 18-year-old high school senior who was gunned down in an Annapolis housing project. But police found no evidence to link the slayings, Whissel said.