Man extradited from Great Britain in connection with 2006 Hagerstown homicide appears in court

Judge orders Joshua Edwards held without bond

July 30, 2012|By DON AINES |
  • Joshua Edwards
Joshua Edwards

After fighting extradition for years, a man accused in a 2006 killing in Hagerstown was returned from Great Britain and being held without bond Monday at the Washington County Detention Center.

Joshua Edwards, 26, who was from Brooklyn, N.Y., is charged in the fatal shooting of Jackson Agustin Rodriguez in a Washington Gardens apartment on July 23, 2006.

Another man, Tony Perry, was shot and lost an eye in the incident.

Edwards was in Washington County Circuit Court Monday for a bond hearing before Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr., who ordered Edwards held without bond pending a Dec. 19 trial.

Olusegun Hakeem Ogundipe, of New York City, was convicted in 2008 of participating in the murder of Rodriguez and the shooting of Perry, and is serving two life sentences.

Following the shooting, Edwards fled to New York, then flew to England, Deputy State’s Attorney Joseph Michael told Long.

At the time of the shootings, Edwards had a valid California driver’s license and no known criminal history, Michael told Long.

Edwards came to the attention of New Scotland Yard on Jan. 21, 2007, Michael said. Edwards was caught, not because he committed an offense in that country but because he complained about a crime that was committed, Michael said.

In June 2007, the British secretary of state ordered Edwards’ extradition, according to the European Court of Human Rights. Edwards argued unsuccessfully before the British courts that he risked facing the death penalty or a sentence of life in prison without parole, according to a January press release from the human-rights court.

The court, composed of jurists from Poland, Iceland, Finland, Cyprus, Malta, Bulgaria and the United Kingdom, ruled that the United States government provided assurances that Edwards would not face the death penalty if he was returned to Maryland.

The court also ruled that Edwards “faced — at most — a discretionary life sentence without parole.” If convicted, the court ruled, “such a sentence would not be grossly disproportionate.”

Michael told Long that Edwards was returned to Washington County late Friday.

Edwards told Long he has an attorney from Baltimore, but the attorney was not present at the bond hearing.

A county grand jury indicted Edwards in October 2006 on charges of first-degree murder, first-degree attempted murder, second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault and use of a handgun in a crime of violence, court records said.

Ogundipe was convicted of first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder in 2008, circuit court records said.

At Ogundipe’s trial, Steven Ramel Broadhead testified that he, Perry and Rodriguez brought $10,000 worth of cocaine from New York to sell in Hagerstown. Broadhead testified that Ogundipe held him at gunpoint when Edwards shot Rodriguez and Perry.

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