Baltimorean convicted in Harford slaying

January 29, 1994|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,Staff Writer

A 22-year-old Baltimore man who drove the getaway car was convicted of second-degree murder last night by a Harford County Circuit Court jury in a 1991 shooting at the Perrywood Garden Apartments in Perryman.

A jury of seven men and five women deliberated about five hours before convicting Kevin Lamont Sanders of the Mondawmin area of West Baltimore.

Judge Cypert O. Whitfill ordered a presentence investigation and set sentencing for April 5.

Prosecutor Mark Nelson told the jury that no one knew who the shooter was but that evidence showed that Sanders drove the car from which the shooter emerged and fired a .38-caliber handgun, killing John Wesley Johnson III, 19, of Havre de Grace and wounding Shawn Odell Thompson, 23, of Baltimore Dec. 30, 1991.

Both victims were taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where Mr. Thompson was released after a bullet was removed from his back. Mr. Johnson, who was struck in the head, died Jan. 4, 1992, at Shock Trauma.

Mr. Thompson testified that he saw a man get out of a car in the 200 block of Perrywood Court and raise his hand. "I didn't see a gun, but I knew he had one, so I turned and ran," he said, adding that he heard only one shot, the one that struck him in the back.

He told the court that Sanders did not do the shooting.

The state's case hinged on the jury's believing the testimony of Sgt. Jordan Watts of the Sheriff's Department, who tracked down and interviewed Sanders more than a year after the incident.

"We were looking for a suspect with the street name of 'Poison.' We finally connected that name to Sanders and located him in jail," Sergeant Watts testified.

Sergeant Watts said the shootings grew out of a turf dispute over drugs between dealers from Philadelphia and Havre de Grace.

Sanders testified that he was present the night of the shooting but was driving a car that was not the same color as the one witnesses described.

Sanders also was convicted of handgun violations but was acquitted of attempted murder in the shooting of Mr. Thompson.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.