Arundel man gets life for killing ex-girlfriend, her boyfriend

March 20, 2010

An Annapolis man who said he "just snapped" and fatally shot his former girlfriend and her boyfriend after hearing them in bed together was sentenced Friday to life in prison. Elbert Gardner Jr., 57, was given two concurrent life sentences for the slayings last June of Lei Tyree Johnson, 38, and Samuel Marshall Fowlkes, 49. Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Ronald A. Silkworth gave Gardner another five years for briefly trying to suffocate Johnson's 12-year-old son, Anthony. Gardner, who was holding three jobs at the time, including one as a supply technician at the Naval Academy, had rented a house with Johnson after leaving his wife of 35 years. When the relationship with Johnson fizzled, he moved into the basement, and Johnson and her son lived upstairs. Gardner told Annapolis police that he heard what sounded like sexual activity in Johnson's bedroom and shot her and her boyfriend in bed. He said he encountered Johnson's son in the hallway afterward and tried to smother him, but stopped when he realized what he was doing.

- Andrea F. Siegel

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