Jurors in the murder trial of a Glen Burnie teen have begun deliberating whether they believe the youth participated in a botched robbery at Mr. Wings & Pizza that left one man dead.
Misael Flores was shot and killed Nov. 12, 2010, the night before his 21st birthday, as he chatted with a friend at the pizza shop on Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard.
Shawn Anthony Johnson, 19, is charged with felony murder, first-degree premeditated murder, second-degree murder, first-degree assault, attempted robbery with a deadly weapon and use of a handgun in commission of a felony.
In order to be found guilty of felony murder—which carries a minimum sentence of life in prison—the jury must decide that Johnson was in the act of committing a felony, which in this case would be armed robbery, when the murder occurred.
“Do not get bogged down in who did what shooting. It does not matter,” Assistant State’s Attorney Kathy Evans said during her closing arguments. “It doesn’t matter the intent. It doesn’t matter who pulled the trigger. If anyone thinks that this defendant was not there, then [find him not guilty].”
Evans pointed to , 20, of Glen Burnie who also is charged in the death. McLean testified as part of a plea agreement with the state where he would face a 20-year sentence for pleading guilty to second-degree murder. He would have faced life in prison without the chance of parole if convicted of first-degree murder.
Two other defendants already have entered pleas. Vincent Ethan Bunner, 19, of Pasadena, in January halfway through his trial. Charles Sequan Butler, 19, of Brooklyn Park June 5, what would have been the first day of his trial.
Both teens are scheduled to be sentenced in July.
McLean slouched in his seat through much of his daylong testimony and had to be asked to speak louder, answering “yeah” and “nah” to questions and repeatedly checking the clock toward the end of the day.
“Did he seem happy to be here?” Evans asked the jury. “I didn’t think so.”
But Johnson's defense attorney, Clayton Aarons, questioned McLean’s truthfulness during his closing argument.
“Did he even bother to look you in the eye when he was so-called telling you the truth?” he said.
Aarons also pointed to McLean’s agreement with the state as a reason to doubt his testimony.
If the state had the evidence to convict Johnson they “wouldn’t need to be standing here to give this young man [Johnson] what that young man [McLean] did not get. That man does not face life in prison,” he said.
Aarons pointed to the testimony of other people who were in the shed where the state argues the robbery was planned—testimony that was given in exchange for immunity from charges. Various witnesses testified that numerous people contributed to the planning of the robbery—accessories to the crime, Aarons said.
“They entered an agreement—a ‘get-out-of-jail-free card’—to come here and [testify],” he said.
Evans countered that the witnesses themselves engaged in criminal activity and were, in fact, reluctant to testify.
She told the jury not to worry about the fact that some witnesses were granted immunity or what sentence McLean faces.
“The sentence that matters in this case … is the sentence of death that was given to Misael Flores. That’s the sentence that matters,” she said.
The jury was expected to deliberate until 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, continuing on Thursday morning.