Man given probation in brother's stabbing death charged with new crimes

October 25, 1994|By Ed Heard | Ed Heard,Sun Staff Writer

A 44-year-old Jessup man, who served about four months in jail for stabbing his brother to death in July 1991, is accused of a crime spree earlier this year that included two armed hold-ups and knifing a man.

Johnny Lee Mouzon of the 7300 block of Wye Avenue in Jessup is being held without bond at the Howard County Detention Center, charged with attempted first-degree murder and a variety of other crimes. Howard County District Court Judge James N. Vaughan yesterday postponed Mouzon's bond review hearing on the recent charges to give him time to consult with a lawyer.

Howard County detectives, who've been investigating Mouzon for months, recently put out word that he was wanted. Late Sunday afternoon, the suspect walked into police custody and was arrested and charged, spokesman Sgt. Steve Keller said yesterday.

County prosecutors familiar with Mouzon's manslaughter conviction expressed some surprise at the new charges against Mouzon.

But they said his family -- upset over his older brother's death -- had much to do with him serving 134 days in jail under a plea bargain.

That jail time was spent waiting for a trial on his manslaughter charge, one that ended in March 1992 with the plea bargain. Mouzon received a suspended three-year sentence and one year's probation.

"We just followed the family's wishes," William Hymes, Howard County state's attorney, said of the plea bargain. "They're the ones that recommended it.''

Tim Wolf, a former Howard County state's attorney who worked out the plea agreement with defense lawyers to reduce murder charges to manslaughter, added: "That's what everybody agreed with."

Mouzon's family did not want to comment yesterday. "I'm disgusted about the whole situation," said a woman who identified herself as his mother.

In 1991, police arrested Mouzon in the stabbing death of his older brother, Joel Louis Mouzon of the 7400 block of Frankin Drive in Jessup. The older Mouzon died at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center an hour after being stabbed in the neck and shoulder area during a dispute with his younger brother.

Court records show the younger Mouzon has a criminal record dating to 1969, when he graduated from Atholton High School in Columbia.

He still lives with his parents in Jessup, according to police records.

While in jail awaiting trial on charges stemming from his brother's death, his parents, a friend and a family minister said that Mouzon had repented and confessed a love for God, according to records from his 1992 trial.

That -- and his family's insistence that he be spared even though he had killed his brother -- influenced Circuit Court Judge James B. Dudley's decision to order parole after suspending a three-year prison sentence, prosecutors said.

"We had to make the decision based on the facts at the time. We had the assurance of the family and others who talked with him that he was not the type of person that would do something like that at a later date," Mr. Hymes said. "We were doing what we thought was best for the family and everyone involved at the time."

But Marna McLendon, the Republican candidate for state's attorney, criticized releasing Mouzon without a longer sentence. Assuming the evidence was there to support the charges, that's just outrageous," Ms. McLendon said. "It's an injustice to everyone. Maybe the victim's family did want it, but it wasn't best for the community."

Within six months of the plea bargain -- in September 1992 -- Mouzon broke the rules of his probation by stealing a pickup truck from Prince George's County and being found in possession of cocaine, court records show.

A Howard County Circuit Court judge ordered him to serve five consecutive weekends for breaking probation with these crimes, prosecutors said.

Then, on July 30, according to police, Mouzon struck a guest at the Red Roof Inn in Jessup across the forehead with a handgun and stole his money.

On July 4, police said, he jumped from behind bushes and stabbed a man walking north on Route 1 in Jessup, and took his money. The victim has recovered from the stabbing, police said.

Later in July, police said, they received tips that he had given the gun used in the June 30 incident to a drug dealer in exchange for crack cocaine.

On Aug. 15, police searched Mouzon's home and found cocaine, heroin and drug paraphernalia.

And last Wednesday, Mouzon's birthday, he robbed an Amoco gas station clerk of cash and a carton of cigarettes, according to police charges.

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