Former FBI agent guilty of vehicular manslaughter

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Photo - FBI seal (Getty Images)
FBI seal (Getty Images)
Local,Maryland,Crime,Ben Giles

A former FBI agent was found guilty of drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter on Thursday in the death of an 18-year-old Prince George's County teen in a violent crash in February 2011.

Adrian Johnson was convicted on all seven charges he faced, including homicide by a motor vehicle, reckless driving and causing a life-threatening injury while under the influence of alcohol.

Friends and family of Lawrence Garner Jr., the teen who was killed in the collision on North Keys Road more than a year and a half ago, sobbed and celebrated as the verdict was read.

"They got this scumbag," one family member said while exiting the courtroom.

Prince George's County Circuit Court Judge Michael Pearson revoked Johnson's bond, and he was taken into custody until his Dec. 14 sentencing hearing.

He faces up to 13 years in prison.

Prosecutors argued Johnson was drunk and speeding 58 mph in a 40 mph zone when his car veered into the wrong lane on North Keys Road in Brandywine.

Johnson's vehicle struck Garner's Hyundai Sonata with such force that it pushed Garner back into the rear seats of the vehicle, leaving the left side of his body crushed and Johnson dying, with "blood pouring" from his wounds, said Assistant State's Attorney Sam Danai.

The crash was so loud it shook the foundations of nearby houses, he said.

Witnesses reported seeing Johnson speed past them on nearby roads shortly before the crash, and Johnson's blood-alcohol level after the crash was more than three times the legal limit of .08, according to prosecutors.

A passenger, Garner's 19-year-old friend Robert Mitchell II, was critically injured in the crash.

Johnson's attorney, Robert Bonsib, conceded that his client was speeding and had been drinking but argued the accident was unavoidable.

Garner was making a left turn onto North Keys Road from a residential driveway, and Johnson simply didn't have enough time to react to avoid hitting Garner's vehicle, Bonsib said.

"There was no way that this collision wasn't going to happen," he said.

But what Bonsib called an accident, prosecutors called gross negligence.

"This was a collision, not an accident," Danai said. "It was a collision that became inevitable as soon as [Johnson] got into that vehicle while drunk."

bgiles@washingtonexaminer.com

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Ben Giles

Staff Writer - Crime Beat
The Washington Examiner