Suspect discussed Glen Burnie’s pool party murder in jail – Capital Gazette

A former jailhouse friend of a murder suspect told jurors Thursday afternoon that while incarcerated, his former acquaintance discussed his involvement in a fatal shooting.

Prosecutors continued to call witnesses Thursday in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court in a case related to the shooting death of 29-year-old James Antonio Diggs IV, who was shot in July 2019 during a pool party at Glen Burnie.

Anne Arundel County Police say Jacovi Devaughn Johnson, now 24, arrived at the pool party in a rental car with a passenger, Dion Isom Sanders, 23, of Glen Burnie, when the vehicle severed Diggs’ leg.

Diggs lashed out and smashed the car’s windshield, police said. Next, Johnson fired multiple bullets at Diggs, who was later pronounced dead, police said.

A security guard at a nearby apartment complex told police he recovered a handgun that someone had seen discarded in bushes near the development, according to charging documents. While police spoke with the security guard, Sanders came into the bushes, presumably to retrieve the weapon, police said.

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Sanders was arrested for weapons offenses and later released. He is due to testify in the case on Friday, part of a deal he reached with prosecutors in 2020 when he pleaded guilty to being an accomplice after the murder and in another home invasion case. . After testifying in the Johnson case, prosecutors agreed to a 50-year sentence for Sanders in both cases. Under the deal, he would serve 16 years in prison with the remaining 34 years suspended. He faced a maximum of 105 years behind bars.

On Thursday, another witness bound by a plea deal with prosecutors testified, telling jurors that Johnson told her about the murder case several times while they were incarcerated together.

Rashard Williams said he became close to Johnson when he was transferred to Jennifer Road Detention Centre, and Johnson gave him details of his case. Williams agreed to testify in the murder trial in exchange for a Baltimore County armed robbery charge being dropped and the possibility of a lighter sentence in a case in which he pleaded guilty to first degree assault.

“He told me about the pool party,” Williams told the court. He said Johnson, his former sparring partner, told him he “got out of the car and started shooting” after Diggs smashed his windshield.

The pair had also discussed possible defenses for their respective cases, Williams said, noting that Johnson had said it ‘cannot be proven’ that he was the shooter because surveillance footage was inconclusive. find out who shot Diggs.

Since his 2019 arrest, Johnson has repeatedly maintained he was not the killer, even writing to Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Michael Wachs, who is presiding over the case, that investigators overlooked the case. real shooter. Johnson’s family defended his character during their initial bail review, when his grandmother said he “wasn’t a violent person” and “wouldn’t pick up a gun.”

The trial is due to end on April 14. Johnson is charged with first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault, as well as several other misdemeanors.