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Man pleads guilty in retrial of fatal Wilde Lake shooting

HomicideFirearmsBryan Adams

A 23-year-old man previously convicted of killing a Columbia teen outside the Wilde Lake Village Center in 2008 pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and a gun charge  Monday in the retrial of the case in Howard County Circuit Court.

Antajuan Lawntee Wilson was sentenced to life in prison with all but 70 years suspended by Judge William V. Tucker, according to Howard County state's attorney spokesman Wayne Kirwan.

Wilson was originally convicted of killing Bryan Adams, 19, of Columbia, in December of 2008. A new trial was ordered by Maryland's highest appellate court in December of 2011 after it ruled the jury in Wilson's original trial was not properly instructed.

Kirwan said Tucker called the crime "completely senseless," and Wilson apologized in court Monday morning to Adams' mother for not showing enough regret during the first trial.

According to testimony in the case, Wilson was at the then-Crown gas station in Wilde Lake around 11 a.m. on April 9, 2008, when he got into an argument with Adams and his two friends.

Wilson, who was 19 at the time, said he was “disrespected” by Adams and his two friends and left the gas station.

Minutes later, Adams' friends testified that Wilson, who had changed his clothes, returned to the area with a handgun and shot Adams four times, twice while he was on the ground.

Before the incident, Wilson had never met Adams or his two friends, according to the two friends and Wilson.

In Wilson's original trial, the handgun used in the murder was not submitted into evidence because it had not been found.

However, according to prosecutor Doug Nelson, a handgun matching the shells used to shoot and kill Adams was recovered in Lake Kittamaqundi during the February 2011 dredging of the Lake.

During opening statements last week, Nelson said the gun, which originally was  purchased in Augusta, Ga., was linked to Wilson, who had moved to Columbia from the Augusta area weeks prior to Adams' death.

Kirwan said Tucker gave Wilson 55 years for the first-degree murder charge and 15 years for the use of a handgun in the commission of a felony/violent crime.

The terms will be served consecutively, Kirwan said. 

llavoie@tribune.com

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