A gun found at the bottom of Lake Kittamaqundi will be introduced as new evidence in the retrial of a Columbia teenager previously sentenced to life in prison for shooting another teenager outside of the Wilde Lake Village Center in 2008, according to the prosecution.
The first-degree murder conviction of Antajuan Lawntee Wilson, 23, in the shooting death of Bryan Adams Jr., was overturned by Maryland's highest appellate court in December of 2011 after the court ruled the jury was not properly instructed.
During opening statements in Wilson's new trial on Tuesday, Jan. 8, prosecutor Doug Nelson said a gun matching the shells from the weapon used in the slaying was discovered during the recent dredging of Lake Kittamaqundi.
Nelson said the gun, which was originally purchased in Augusta, Ga., was linked to Wilson, who had moved from the Augusta area to Columbia three weeks prior to the incident.
Nelson said that Wilson, who originally testified that the gun did not belong to him and that he was acting in self-defense, would have passed the lake on his way to his cousin's house in Oakland Mills. Nelson said Wilson previously testified he had visited his cousin's house following the incident.
Defense attorney Jan DeBoissiere told the jury that Wilson is guilty of killing Adams, but not by first-degree because the crime was not premeditated.
“He's responsible, Mr. Wilson knows he's responsible, but not to the highest degree,” DeBoissiere said.
On the day of the incident, April 9, 2008, Wilson was at a gas station in the village center around 11 a.m. when he got into argument with Adams and two others.
Wilson, who then left the scene, claims he was “disrespected” by Adams and his two friends at 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 court documents.