PRINCE GEORGE'S CRIME
Triple-Slaying Suspect Was on Probation
Thursday, February 7, 2008
Tron L. Johnson had pleaded guilty in two drug cases, including one last month, and was serving probation for both when, authorities say, he fatally shot three men at a Largo pizzeria during Sunday's Super Bowl.
A third drug case, a marijuana possession charge, was dropped last month because a police officer did not appear for a hearing, Prince George's County court records show.
Sandra Sneed, mother of Terrance L. Sneed, one of the victims, said yesterday that she was angry at Johnson's lenient and ineffective treatment by the justice system.
"If he had been locked up and doing his prison time, he wouldn't have been out shooting people on Super Bowl Sunday," she said.
Johnson, 22, of Mitchellville, was charged Tuesday with three counts of first-degree murder in the shootings at Uno Chicago Grill at the Boulevard at Capital Centre. Several law enforcement sources and two people who were at the restaurant said yesterday that he opened fire after a disagreement over the game.
The sources told how a verbal exchange between two groups of fans escalated into gunfire during the fourth quarter of the game between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants.
Curtis L. Poston, 26, of Temple Hills, a Dallas Cowboys fan, was cheering for the New York Giants to support the NFC, a friend said. He was accompanied that evening by close friends Sneed, 22, and Charles D. Harrison, 25, both of Landover.
Johnson and a friend were sitting across the bar from Poston's group, and the two groups were trading insults. Poston's group disparaged the Patriots, and Johnson and his companion assailed the Giants, the law enforcement sources said. The sources, speaking on condition of anonymity because the case remains under investigation, said the men had known one another for some time.
As the clocked ticked down in the fourth quarter, a fistfight broke out, according to the sources and two people who were at the restaurant. Johnson allegedly pulled a gun and shot Poston and Sneed in the bar; he is accused of following Harrison outside and shooting him in the head.
"Nobody could believe it," a witness said. "The manager called 911, then ran outside. She was standing out there when he shot the guy who ran. She even told him to leave him alone, but he shot him."
According to court records and authorities, Johnson was charged last year in three criminal cases. Although he was on probation when he pleaded guilty last month, he was spared jail because the offense he was pleading to had occurred before he was placed on probation.
Johnson was arrested in April and charged with marijuana possession, court records show. He pleaded guilty in November before Circuit Court Judge Graydon McKee III and was sentenced to five years in prison, with all but two days suspended. He was placed on probation for four years.