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Suspect Testifies Against Best Friend in Murder Trial

Willie Antonio McLean, 20, testified Wednesday against Shawn Anthony Johnson, 19. Both are defendants in the 2010 murder of Misael Flores at Mr. Wings & Pizza.

In 2010, four teenagers allegedly walked from a shed in the neighborhood behind Mr. Wings & Pizza in Glen Burnie with two guns and a plan to “get some money.”

The robbery went wrong and on the night before his 21st birthday—but the question seems to remain as to which two suspects pulled the trigger.

After originally arguing that , the state alleged on Monday that Bunner and Shawn Anthony Johnson, 19, of Glen Burnie were the two who shot Flores.

However, testimony Wednesday from Willie Antonio McLean, 20—who also is accused in the murder—in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court put the second gun back in Butler’s hand.

Bunner and Butler already pleaded in the case, with in January and on Monday. An Alford plea means Butler admits the state had enough of a case against him to find him guilty while maintaining his innocence. The plea carries the same weight as a guilty plea.

Bunner is scheduled to be sentenced on July 23—facing two concurrent life sentences and up to an additional 20 years for using a handgun during the course of a felony.

Butler’s sentencing is scheduled for July 20 and he faces a maximum of 30 years in prison.

McLean testified Wednesday for the state as part of a plea agreement where in exchange for his testimony against the other three teens he would plead to second-degree murder and the state would recommend a sentence of 30 years with all but 20 years suspended.

But halfway through his testimony against Johnson, Assistant State’s Attorney Kathy Evans attempted to remind him that his deal was contingent on him “telling the truth.”

With Bunner and Butler pleading, Wednesday was the first time McLean testified in court.

After Bunner mentioned robbing the pizza shop a few days prior, McLean said he suggested they go that Friday—Nov. 12, 2010.

McLean said the four teens met at a friend's shed nearby, drank Captain Morgan rum and smoked marijuana, and planned the robbery.

“At first Shawn [Johnson] didn’t want to do it but he ended up going anyway,” McLean said in court. “Vinny [Bunner] and Charles [Butler] would be the ones holding the guns and me and Shawn would grab the money ... We'd split [the money] up.”

McLean said the guns "disappeared" after they were passed around the shed and he didn't see them again until the four were at Mr. Wings & Pizza, in the hands of Bunner and Butler.

McLean said he and Johnson stood near the entrance of the pizzeria, unarmed, during the shooting. He said he didn’t see Bunner pull the trigger, but saw smoke coming from Bunner’s gun after Flores was shot the first time. He said he did not know where the second shot came from.

McLean, wearing a white polo shirt, black slacks and a black kufi (a West African hat), slouched in his seat through much of his 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.

At first, McLean barely made eye contact with Johnson—who he said was his best friend leading up to the night of the incident—but exchanged glances and a few smiles with him during the second half of the day.

During cross-examination, defense attorney Anthony Mayo questioned McLean’s credibility, pointing to McLean’s daily use of marijuana, tendency to drink alcohol and the initial things he told police when questioned—which differ from what he said on the stand.

Mayo argued that McLean’s alcohol and drug use, as well as his diagnosed attention deficit disorder, impair his memory.

Opening statements in Johnson's trial were heard Monday morning with witness testimony beginning in the afternoon. Johnson and Butler were to be tried together.

Johnson and Bunner also were arrested in connection with the , 48, of Glen Burnie, who was fatally shot while working at 7-Eleven. Bunner also pleaded guilty in January to his involvement in Attia's murder.

Police are still searching for a third suspect. Johnson’s trial in Attia's murder is scheduled to begin in September.

On Nov. 12, 2010, Flores was shot twice in the upper body during an armed robbery inside the pizza shop on the 7600 block of Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard in Glen Burnie. He was transferred to , where he was later pronounced dead.

According to police, four teens entered Mr. Wings & Pizza shortly before 9 p.m. that night and announced a robbery. Police said Flores was standing near a female store employee, later identified as Casandra Buruca, when the suspects entered. Both Flores and the employee told the teens to leave the store at which point Flores was shot and the suspects fled.

McLean is scheduled to stand trial in October. Johnson’s trial is scheduled to continue Thursday.

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