AG Gansler's Gang Unit Secures Guilty Plea in 2010 Murder
Shooter gets 20-year prison sentence for killing victim in cold blood
Baltimore, MD ( Oct. 25, 2012) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that Tavon Jamal Johnson, 29, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to one count of Second Degree Murder and one count of Use of a Handgun During the Commission of a Felony or Crime of Violence. Baltimore City Circuit Judge John Addison Howard sentenced Johnson to 20 years in prison for the murder charge and five years for the gun charge, which will run concurrently. The Attorney General's Gang Prosecution Unit handled the case, upon referral from the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office.
"Murder on a street corner in broad daylight shows no regard for human life or the safety of innocent bystanders," said Attorney General Gansler. "Thanks to the hard work of police investigators and members of the Gang Prosecution Unit, this dangerous criminal will be taken off the streets."
The case stemmed from a shooting that occurred February 3, 2010 at approximately 9 a.m. at the intersection of Edmondson Avenue and North Pulaski Street in Baltimore, in front of the Soul Source restaurant where several individuals were smoking, talking and walking to or waiting for buses. The defendant approached the corner where the victim, Juan Tucker, then 34 and also of Baltimore, stood talking with several other people. Johnson said hello and shook hands with several people, then stood with the group for several minutes. Suddenly, and without provocation, Johnson pulled out what was described by witnesses as a silver .38 caliber revolver and shot Tucker five times, first in the back of the head, then in the torso as Tucker fell to the ground. As witnesses and bystanders scattered, the defendant fled the scene taking the murder weapon with him.
Baltimore City Police were initially unable to locate the defendant when they arrived on the scene. At 9:30 a.m., Juan Tucker was pronounced dead at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
An autopsy conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide. A ballistics examination of two bullet fragments recovered from the body of Juan Tucker at Shock Trauma, as well as three recovered during the autopsy, revealed that at least four of the fragments came from the same gun and that all five fragments came from a .38 caliber weapon as reported by two eyewitnesses.
On March 18, 2010, an arrest warrant was issued for Tavon Johnson for First Degree Murder and related charges. Johnson was arrested on March 25, 2010 and later indicted for First Degree Murder, Use of a Handgun During the Commission of a Felony or Crime of Violence and Illegal Wearing or Carrying a Handgun.
Attorney General Gansler thanked Franklyn Musgrave and Jason Abbott, Assistant Attorneys General with the Gang Prosecution Unit, Baltimore City Police Homicide Detective Joon Kim, and all the men and women from the Baltimore City Police Department who had a hand in the case for their hard work.