2 Teens Sentenced In Shooting

Web Video That Showed Witnesses Laughing During Baltimore Robbery Became Phenomenon Last Year

August 16, 2009|By Laura Smitherman | Laura Smitherman,laura.smitherman@baltsun.com

Two Baltimore cousins were sentenced to prison last week for their roles in an armed robbery at a Chinese restaurant that became an Internet phenomenon last year when a video that showed witnesses laughing was posted on YouTube.

David Jefferson, 17, of the 2700 block of Tivoly Ave., and Kevin Johnson, 15, of the same address, were sentenced to 25 years after pleading guilty to second-degree attempted murder and other charges in the August 2008 robbery at the Chinese Cuisine Carryout at 2700 Harford Road.

Judge Martin P. Welch suspended all but seven years of Jefferson's sentence and all but nine years of Johnson's. Each received five years of probation, according to State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy's office.

Police responding to a report of a shooting at the restaurant arrived to find that customer Marvin Edmonds had been shot in the left leg as he was waiting for his order.

According to authorities, Jefferson entered the establishment with a bandanna tied over the lower part of his face, pushed Edmonds against the wall, put a gun to his neck, and rifled through his pockets. Johnson, also wearing a bandanna, entered the carryout and put a gun to Edmonds' head. After not finding any money, the two men started to leave but turned and fired at Edmonds, who was struck once.

The entire incident was caught on surveillance camera. Witnesses identified Jefferson and Johnson as the gunmen, and both confessed to their involvement, according to prosecutors.

The videotape shows two young women leaning against a wall and laughing as others reach over the wounded Edmonds to pick up orders from the counter. Mayor Sheila Dixon talked about the disturbing scenes when pressing for changes in the criminal justice system at a meeting of law enforcement officials last year.

"There's clearly mentally disturbed individuals in this city," she said at the time.

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