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Hagerstown man faces charges after gun pulled on two men

Michael L. Edwards is charged with one count each of first-degree assault, conspiracy to commit first-degree assault, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment

September 20, 2012|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com
  • Edwards
Edwards

A Hagerstown man charged with being at the scene when a gun was pulled on two men Tuesday night in an alley near Jonathan Street appeared Thursday in Washington County District Court for a bond review hearing.

Michael L. Edwards, 18, of 246 N. Mulberry St., is charged with one count each of first-degree assault, conspiracy to commit first-degree assault, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment. If convicted on all counts, Edwards faces 65 years in prison.

His preliminary hearing was set for Oct. 16 at 1 p.m.

Judge Oliver John Cejka Jr. reduced Edwards’ bond from $60,000 to $40,000 on Thursday.

Edwards appeared for Thursday’s hearing on a live television feed between the Washington County Detention Center and District Court.

After listening to brief statements from the attorneys and Edwards’ mother, who said, “I’ll make sure he does what he’s supposed to do and not get in any trouble,” Cejka ruled there was enough reason to keep the bond fairly high.

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“The court finds that this is an issue of public safety and safety for the victims in this case,” Cejka said. 

The incident was reported Tuesday at 10:37 p.m., when a Hagerstown police officer on patrol was approached in the area of Henry and West North avenues by Michael and Glendale Johnson, according to the statement of probable cause obtained Thursday from Washington County District Court.

The Johnsons, who are cousins, told the officer that they were surrounded a short time earlier by a group of males. One of those males pulled a small-caliber pistol and pointed it at Michael Johnson, court records show.

An investigation determined that Jequan King, who is Edwards’ brother, previously had given Michael Johnson $15 to buy marijuana, but Johnson kept the money without delivering the drugs, the statement of probable cause said.

Police said while the Johnsons were walking Tuesday night along Jonathan Street, they were noticed by someone who was familiar with the marijuana incident. They then were followed by a group of males heading north on Jonathan Street.

The Johnsons turned east on West North Avenue, then headed north on Rubbie Alley, where they saw Edwards and a male wearing all black coming toward them. When the Johnsons turned around, they noticed that the other males who were following them had cut off the exit to the alley.

“Michael Johnson stated that all of a sudden they were surrounded by the group of males ... At this time, the (man) who had come out of the alley with Edwards pulled a gun out and racked the slide and pointed the gun at Michael Johnson,” officers wrote in the statement of probable cause.

During a search of the Jonathan Street area, police found someone who matched Edwards’ description in the 200 block of North Jonathan Street. The Johnsons were taken to the area and identified Edwards as being one of the people involved in the incident.

Edwards told police that he confronted the Johnsons because Michael Johnson took $15 from his brother, according to the statement of probable cause. He said another man, who was wearing a bandana over his face, pulled the gun.

Police allege in the statement of probable cause that cameras in the area recorded Edwards, the suspected gunman and other people involved in the incident.

The cameras showed that Edwards was wearing different clothes after the incident and “carrying what appears to be the same long sleeve white shirt or coat in his left hand,” the statement of probable cause said.

Police used the cameras to track Edwards and other people involved in the incident to a home at 245 N. Jonathan St., court records show.

Police Lt. Tom Langston said the alleged gunman remained on the loose Thursday afternoon.

The gunman was described in court documents as a black male in his early 20s. He was wearing a black-hooded Champion sweat shirt, black pants and a black bandana over his face.

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