Man Guilty of First Degree for Murdering Bystander Lydell Wood

State v. Antonio Ka-Juan Owens, C-08-CR-17-000011

LA PLATA, Md. (May 10, 2018)—Tony Covington, State's Attorney for Charles County announced that on Wednesday, May 8, 2018, a Charles County jury, after a 6 day trial and 1 day of deliberations, convicted Antonio Ka-Juan Owens, 22, of First Degree Murder of Lydell Wood, Unlawful Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Crime of Violence related to the Murder of Lydell Wood, and related charges.

On January 6, 2016, officers responded to the 2000 block of Rooks Head Place in Waldorf for the report of a shooting. Upon arrival, officers found one victim, Lydell Wood, with a single gunshot wound in his back. The victim succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased.

An investigation into the shooting revealed that an acquaintance of Wood got into a confrontation with co-defendant Miguel Santana earlier that day while Wood and other men were present. The acquaintance brandished a handgun and shot at Santana. Wood had no involvement in the shooting. Santana fled the area unharmed and contacted Owens to help him retaliate.

Santana, Owens, and co-defendant Rashaad Brawner canvassed the area in Brawner's vehicle in search of the group of men present at the earlier shooting. When Wood was spotted, Santana and Owens exited the vehicle and confronted Wood, who ran away after both men brandished guns. Santana and Owens gave chase and fired several gunshots, striking Wood in the back as he attempted to find safety and enter a house in the neighborhood. After the shooting, Owens returned to Brawner's vehicle and was driven back to his own vehicle. All three men fled the area.

Owens was later identified as one of the shooters by accomplice testimony as well as other extensive corroborating evidence.

A sentencing date has been set for July 10, 2018. Owens faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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