MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - In Maryland, three teenagers accused of killing a man in a Bethesda shopping center appeared in court virtually for a bond heading.
16-year-old Antonio Lawrence, 17-year-old Joshua Wright, and 18-year-old Blaise Uchemadu are being held without bond. All three teenagers arrested and charged with first degree murder, armed robbery, and conspiracy to commit robbery.
The Judge ordered Wright to be held without bond to protect the community due to the nature of the crime. The court postponed Lawrence and Uchemadu’s bond hearing until they find outside counsel in case a conflict of interest comes about – for example – one suspect turning against another.
Authorities say the suspects lived together at the Greentree Group Home in Bethesda, Maryland.
Police have identified the victim as 33-year-old Lawrence Richmond Wilson.
On Sunday, the teens met the victim in an emergency exit stairwell outside the Target at the Shops of Bethesda to purchase two ounces of marijuana. However, in court, it was revealed this was all pre-planned to rob the man.
According to court documents, on Monday, December 20th around 3:20 in the afternoon, the uncle of one of the teens accused of murder called police saying his nephew told him he stabbed and killed a man at the target on Wisconsin Avenue on Sunday.
Later on Monday, court documents reveal another suspect Joshua Wright walked into a Montgomery County Police station saying he witnessed the killing.
Investigators say on surveillance video, the three suspects are seen entering the stairwell and 17 minutes later, they run away.
FOX 5’s Sierra Fox asked State’s Attorney John McCarthy about the correlation between weed and violent crimes.
"There have been a number of instances involving the distribution of drugs in the county and almost invariably in every case, someone has lost their lives. This might be surprising to most people, but the reality is the drug that has been involved in the transaction where lives have been lost almost invariable involves marijuana," said McCarthy.
Police didn’t discover the victim until around 8 p.m. Monday after one of the suspects talked with them. Investigators say the man’s body was in a stairwell that is dark and hidden near an emergency exit so people in the shopping in the area wouldn’t have witnessed the scene or come across the body.