SNOW HILL — The second of two sisters charged in the stabbing death of a local man outside a Pocomoke convenience store last October pleaded guilty on Wednesday to second-degree assault and accessory after the fact of first-degree murder and now awaits her fate pending a pre-sentence investigation.
Shortly after 1 p.m. last Oct. 26, Pocomoke Police responded to a 911 call reporting a domestic dispute at a gas pump outside the Duck Inn convenience store. Arriving officers found the victim, identified as Derrick Collick, 25, of Pocomoke, with a stab wound to his upper body. Collick was transported to PRMC in Salisbury with an apparent stab wound and later succumbed to his injuries.
Witnesses were able to provide police with information about the suspects involved in the incident and the vehicle they were driving, touching off a manhunt throughout the afternoon and into the evening across the Lower Shore.
The suspects were identified by witnesses as Kaniesha Johnson, 22, of Pocomoke, and her sister, Latoya Johnson, 30, of Salisbury. That evening, Kaniesha Johnson was located at a residence on South East Railroad Ave. in Hebron and was taken into custody without incident by the Maryland State Apprehension Team. Latoya Johnson was located at her residence in Salisbury on Monday evening and was taken into custody without incident.
Two weeks ago, Kaniesha Johnson pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and second-degree assault. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered and sentencing has been set for April 1. Latoya Johnson on Wednesday pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact and second-degree assault and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered, although no sentencing date has been announced.
Suspect Slams Door, Bites Cop
OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on assault charges last week after allegedly first slamming a door on an officer and later biting him during booking following a domestic dispute.
Around 1:30 a.m. last Thursday, an OCPD officer responded to a residence on Judlee Avenue for a reported domestic incident. The officer arrived and met with a witness, who told police her roommate, later identified as Matthew Justice, 26, of Ocean City, had attempted to kick in the door to a room in which she was hiding. OCPD officers had responded to the same residence for a complaint about an hour earlier.
The victim told police Justice had left the area on foot and the responding officer drove over to the 7-Eleven store nearby and observed Justice inside. The officer recognized Justice from a mug shot on his computer because Justice had previous run-ins with law enforcement. Justice came out of the store and approached the officer and allegedly asked if he was there for the “domestic.”
The officer asked Justice to sit on the curb, which he did, but he continued to make furtive movements as if he was going to run, according to police reports. At that point, Justice was handcuffed, but he allegedly went into a profanity-laced tirade in a loud voice to all in the area to hear, directing threats against police officers. At one point, he threatened to have the officer fired and that he knew powerful people.
Despite the tirade, the officers determined Justice had committed no crime at the scene and he was released. According to police reports, he told the officer to “mark the time” because he was “going to get me.” Justice was allowed to leave for the time being and sprinted back to his apartment on Judlee Ave. and the police followed to investigate the original domestic complaint.
Three OCPD officers responded to the residence on Judlee Ave. and after investigating the domestic incident began to leave. The original officer at the 7-11 incident was the last in the line of officers to leave the residence, and when he got to the doorway, Justice allegedly pulled the door back and slammed it on the officer who was still inside the door frame. The door hit the officer in the back and on his finger, forcing him into the back of the officer in front of him. The officer determined Justice intentionally slammed the door on him and arrested the suspect.
Justice was transported to the Public Safety Building for processing, and when the officer came around the transport vehicle to unbuckle the suspect, Justice allegedly bit the officer intentionally. The officer noted in his report Justice opened his mouth wide and intentionally bit him on the arm, although he was wearing a heavy coat and multiple layers, so the suspect’s teeth did not penetrate his skin.
The officers moved his arm away, but Justice again lunged at him with his mouth open and attempted to bit him again. The rest of the booking process went on without further incident. It was later determined Justice was on probation for disarming a law enforcement officer in a different incident.
DUI Arrest After Riding Over Sidewalk
OCEAN CITY — A Berlin woman was arrested on drunk-driving and traffic violations last week after first being observed speeding on the Route 90 Bridge and later riding over a sidewalk before coming to a stop at a dead-end street.
Around 2:35 p.m. last Thursday, an OCPD officer on patrol on the Route 90 Bridge observed a vehicle speeding on the eastbound lanes of the span. The officer followed the vehicle into Ocean City and a computer background check revealed the owner’s vehicle, identified as Tristen Vice, 30, of Berlin, had been arrested three days earlier in the same vehicle for driving on a suspended license.
The officer followed Vice into Ocean City where she was clocked going 55 miles per hour in the area of 54th Street. Vice made a right turn onto 52nd Street and drove over the corner of the sidewalk. The officer followed Vice until the vehicle reached a dead end at 52nd Street. When asked why she didn’t stop, Vice allegedly told police she did not want to go to jail.
When asked about the status of her license, Vice confirmed it was suspended and she had been arrested for the same charge just three days earlier. A background check revealed Vice had alcohol restrictions on her license and was required to use an ignition interlock device, but there was no ignition interlock on the vehicle she was driving at the time.
During the interaction, the officer noted Vice’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot and detected an odor of alcoholic beverage on her breath and person. Vice did not perform a battery of field sobriety tests to the officer’s satisfaction and she was arrested and charged with drunk driving, driving on a suspended license and traffic violations including fleeing and eluding.
Disorderly Arrest In WOC
WEST OCEAN CITY — An Ocean City man was arrested on disorderly conduct and trespassing charges this week after allegedly threatening and harassing the staff at a West Ocean City restaurant and bar.
Around 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Maryland State Police troopers responded to the Hooter’s in West Ocean City for a reported disorderly suspect later identified as Michael J. Defilippo, 53, of Ocean City. Witnesses told police Defilippo would continue to return after several reoccurring events at the Hooter’s and was persistently threatening and harassing the staff.
Defilippo had returned to the bar several times after being given a no trespass order by an MSP trooper on the previous evening. Ignoring the trespass order, Defilippo again returned to the restaurant on Tuesday was escorted off the property by Hooter’s managerial staff. MSP troopers located Defilippo and placed him under arrest. According to police reports, Defilippo continued to act in a disorderly manner and also made threats against law enforcement. He was charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing and was ordered to be held on a $3,000 bond.
Guilty In Salisbury Slaying
SALISBURY — The second of three Lower Shore men arrested last August for their roles in the death of a Fruitland teen gunned down in a Salisbury motel parking lot was found guilty last week of first-degree murder with the third in court this week.
The 17-year-old Fruitland teen was shot while in the parking lot of the America’s Best Value Inn on N. Salisbury Blvd. as he left a party just after midnight last August 1. The investigation revealed the suspects, who were allegedly involved in an earlier altercation at the party, returned to the motel and fired multiple shots into a crowd of people congregating in the parking lot.
The investigation identified three suspects, including Jarrett Vaughn Stokes, 18, of Delmar; Larry Allen Ennis, 20, of Salisbury; and Ky’Shir Tariq Connally, 18, of Delmar, each of whom was charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of the Fruitland teen. Stokes was the trigger man in the homicide and is believed to have fired as many as four shots into the crowd. Last week, it took a Wicomico County jury five days to return with guilty verdicts on 15 counts for Stokes, including first-degree murder.
Ennis, a former Wicomico High School basketball standout, was the first of the main three suspects to go to trial in the case, which ended two weeks ago with guilty verdicts across the board.
After Ennis’ five-day trial, which included dramatic testimony from several witnesses about the events leading up to the fatal shooting, Ennis was found guilty on all 14 counts including first-degree murder. A pre-sentence investigation was ordered and sentencing has been scheduled for April 21.
A fourth suspect, Marquel Devante Pinder, 21, who drove the suspects back to the party, has already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and other charges and has not yet been sentenced. The trial for Stokes, who is believed to be the shooter, began on Tuesday and had not been completed as of press time.
The trial for Connally, who was arrested in Ocean City just two weeks before on burglary charges after breaking into a downtown condo, started on Wednesday and had not concluded by press time. Connally has already pleaded guilty in Worcester County Circuit Court to third-degree burglary for breaking into a downtown Ocean City condominium last July and was sentenced to 18 months, all but six months of which was then suspended. Connally was arrested last July after breaking into the Ocean City condo, partying with friends and ultimately stealing, among other things, a pair of expensive basketball shoes which ultimately helped identify him as the suspect. Connally was found wearing a pair of Air Jordan basketball shoes of the same size and color as the shoes reported stolen by the victim.