Terrence G. Johnson, the 15-year-old Blandensburg youth accused of shooting to death two Prince George's County policemen in the middle of a police station last June, was released on $100,000 bond early yesterday morning.
Johnson, who is scheduled to appear in Prince George's County Circuit Court today for a hearing on whether he should be tried as a juvenile or an adult, was released from the county detention center in Upper Marlboro just before 2 a.m.
The youth's bond was posted by Democratic State Sen. Tommie Broadwater Jr. and by Philip Baltimore, a local bondsman. Broadwater, who is also a bail bondsman, said he accepted a bond fee of $6,500 from the Johnson family. Broadwater took responsibility for $75,000 of the bond.
Johnson has been imprisoned at the detention center since the morning of June 26. He was arrested that morning after allegedly shooting officers Albert M. Claggett IV and James Brian Swart, who were booking the youth on charges that he had tried to break into a laundromat.
Bail for Johnson was originally set at $1,050,000 but was later reduced to $100,000.
The shootings and the arrest of Johnson briefly inflamed tense relations between the largely white police force and the black community in Prince George's Johnson is black and the two police officers killed were white.
The Johnson case also briefly became a cause celebre among scattered groups of supporters, some of whom, like the Rev. Perry Smith, helped start a defense fund for the youth.
Broadwater said yesterday he understood the $6,500 fee he received from the family was originally provided by the defense fund.
"Bond was important in this particular case because we felt he (Johnson) was being harassed in jail," said Alan Lenchek, one of Johnson's three attorneys. "For that reason we made extra efforts to get him out."
Johnson himself had written two letters to a Prince George's County judge complaining that he was being persecuted by jail guards.
Prince George's County Circuit Court Judge Vincent J. Femia, an outspoken advocate of strictee juvenile justice, is scheduled to preside at today's hearing.