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W.Va. man is charged in slaying

April 07, 2005|by BRIAN SHAPPELL and PEPPER BALLARD

shappell@herald-mail.com
pepperb@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - A 20-year-old West Virginia man has been charged with second-degree murder in the Tuesday night shooting death of Terrance "T.J." Johnson in a Noland Village courtyard.

Boni Facio Aramburo, of 209 E. 11th St. in Ranson, W.Va., also was charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence, wearing and carrying a handgun and minor in possession of a regulated firearm, according to court records.

Washington County District Judge Ralph H. France II set bond for Aramburo at $800,000 during a bail review hearing Wednesday, according to court records. Aramburo was being held Wednesday at the Washington County Detention Center, a detention center spokesman said.

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Johnson, 35, of 1037 Noland Drive, was shot once in the chest at 7:59 p.m. in Court 4 of the Noland Village housing complex, according to Hagerstown Police Department Lt. Mike King and a news release from Sgt. Paul Kifer. Johnson was found outside of an apartment, bleeding from the mouth.

King said there had been heated verbal exchanges Tuesday between Aramburo and a third man, who was friends with Johnson. King said the hostility was in reference to Aramburo's girlfriend, whom the third man formerly had dated.

"Apparently, this had been brewing all day," King said.

King said Johnson involved himself in the fight by jumping on Aramburo from behind as he was fighting with the other man.

King said Wednesday that the shooting was at close range.

"All accounts from witnesses are that they were, for lack of a better term, in a dog pile when the shot went off," King said.

The man involved in the initial fight with Aramburo had not been charged in the incident by Wednesday, King said.

King said Johnson was in full cardiac arrest when he arrived to investigate minutes after the shooting. He said Johnson, who was pronounced dead at Washington County Hospital, never regained consciousness, despite extensive attempts by emergency responders.

Charging documents state that Aramburo told police that, during the fight, a handgun fell out of someone's pocket. Aramburo told investigators he picked up the gun and tried to strike Johnson with it when the gun fired, according to charging documents.

Aramburo told investigators that he drove out of the area in a Ford Explorer and threw the gun out of the window, charging documents state.

A .22-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun was found in a field in the area of the 600 block of Marion Street, which is where the Explorer was recovered by police, documents state.

King said that investigators believe Aramburo was the person originally in possession of the gun used to kill Johnson.

'Friendly, lovable person'

On Wednesday, Johnson's wife, Melody Johnson, 27, struggled to cope with the death of her husband of nearly two months. As she sat on her living room couch, friends and family called her and stopped in to offer their condolences and support.

"He was just a friendly person ... a friendly, lovable person," she said with tears welling in her eyes.

Melody Johnson said her husband stopped into her apartment to see if she and her three children wanted to come and watch him play football in Court 4 when she last saw him. She told him she had to get her children dressed and he told her he'd be back in five minutes, she said.

Terrance Johnson's godsister, Beverly Pendarvis, 38, witnessed the fight and delivered news of the shooting to Melody Johnson, who then ran to the courtyard.

Melody Johnson said her husband, who did flooring work for his father, lived in Washington, D.C. The couple met two years ago in the Noland Village neighborhood and were looking into buying a house in the Washington area when he was killed, she said.

Terrance Johnson fathered nine children and had four godchildren, she said.

"He was a very good husband. Everybody loved him," she said.

"He was a loyal friend. He died for a friend," said Pendarvis, who said she grew up with Johnson in Washington. She said two of her godbrothers were killed before Johnson. Now, she doesn't have any godbrothers left, she said.

"It's tearing me apart right now," she said.

By noon Wednesday, Pendarvis had not slept, she said.

"Every time I close my eyes, I see him lying on the ground," she said.

Dre Sherray, 32, said Terrance Johnson "was like my brother. He was my best friend."

"He was a happy person. He kept everybody going ... a very cheerful person," she said.

Melody Johnson said her husband has three brothers and four sisters, all in the Washington area.

She was trying to get enough money collected Wednesday for her husband's funeral.

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