The Washington Post

Teen convicted in toddler’s shooting

A Fort Washington teenager was convicted Wednesday of first-degree assault and related counts for shooting and wounding a 23-month-old toddler who was sitting with his mother and twin sister outside a Glenarden apartment building, prosecutors said.

Deven Matos, 18, faces up to 75 years in prison when he is sentenced June 8 in connection with the Aug. 22 shooting of young Deondre Johnson, prosecutors said. Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said the toddler was an unintended victim of Matos’s gunfire, but that made the crime no less heinous.

“It was absolutely devastating,” Alsobrooks said. “I absolutely hate even the thought of a 2-year-old being unable to sit on his front porch. It’s unacceptable. It’s completely unacceptable.”

Johnson was sitting with his mother, Shaneka Johnson, and twin sister outside an apartment in the 3000 block of Brightseat Road about 9 p.m. on Aug. 22, prosecutors said. For reasons that are unclear, Matos and another person began firing guns in the area, prosecutors said.

Shaneka Johnson and her children ran inside, only to realize young Deondre Johnson had been shot in the face, prosecutors said. He survived but has a tracheotomy tube in place and faces several more surgeries, prosecutors said.

“We’re happy to report that his progress is going fairly well,” Alsobrooks said.

Assistant State’s Attorney Carol Coderre said witnesses were not able to identify the other shooter, though investigators believe bullets from Matos’s gun struck young Deondre. She said that including closing arguments, the trial lasted two days, and jurors deliberated for about two and a half hours before convicting Matos.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.


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