Man, 27, Gets Four Years In Slaying Over Drug Debt

January 19, 1992

A 27-year-old Glen Burnie man has been sentenced to four years in prison in the December 1990 shooting death of a New York man in an apparent dispute over a drug debt.

William I. Johnson Jr. of the 200 block of Woodhill Road had pleaded guilty in November to manslaughter in the death of Jerry Tyrone "Petey" Cadogan, 19, of New York and Barbados.

Cadogan's body was found Dec. 20, 1990 in woods off Shot Town Road in Arnold.

In return for the plea, prosecutors were to recommendthat Johnson be sentenced to 10 years in prison, with all but four years suspended. Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. sentenced Johnson to eight years, with four suspended, Friday in county Circuit Court.

Court records show the judge ordered Johnson to undergo drug counseling and be placed on probation for five years upon release from prison. Johnson was also given credit for 100 days previously served.

Assistant State's Attorney Eugene M. Whissel II has said Cadogan died of a single gunshot wound to the side of the head. He said the bullet was fired from 6 to 18 inches away.

Whissel said Johnson had originally told police that he and Cadogan were driving on Interstate 97, returning from a trip to Washington to buy drugs, when a car pulled alongside them and Cadogan said, "That must be my homeboy 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. Johnson said 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 becausehe thought the state only could prove manslaughter with Johson's confession, the basis for prosecuting the case.

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