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Laurel man sentenced to 35 years in 2014 North Laurel drug shooting

Taylor King Pepe was charged in the fatal shooting of a Laurel man in what Howard County police believe was a drug robbery gone wrong.
Taylor King Pepe was charged in the fatal shooting of a Laurel man in what Howard County police believe was a drug robbery gone wrong.(Photo courtesy Howard County Police)

Laurel resident Taylor King Pepe, 21, was sentenced to 35 years in prison Thursday morning after he was found guilty of organizing a drug robbery that led to a Laurel man's death.

Pepe was sentenced by U.S. District Judge George L. Russell III after being charged with armed robbery conspiracy as well as aiding and abetting the brandishing and use of a gun during a crime of violence. Pepe pleaded guilty to the drug robbery last October.

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In the plea agreement provided by U.S. Attorney for Maryland Rod Rosenstein, Pepe joined three others – Desmick Lewis, Amanda McAdoo and Lauren Maready – in planning to rob Russell Rowe who had Oxycodone pills. After Maready drove everyone to the meeting spot on Jan. 23, 2014, McAdoo met Rowe, having previously arranged to buy the pills from him.

Taylor King Pepe, 21, of Laurel, pleaded guilty in a drug robbery that ended with a Laurel man's death.

While Pepe and Maready stayed in the car, Lewis hid behind a fence and McAdoo met with Rowe in his car. Shortly after, Lewis went up to Rowe's car and fired a gun several times. Pepe and Maready drove away when they heard gunfire and left Lewis and McAdoo behind at the scene.

Howard County police later found Rowe inside his car, which had been driven into a tree, the plea agreement states, and found bullet holes in the driver's side window. Rowe was also shot in the head several times. Meanwhile, the conspirators discussed the robbery and murder at several places in Howard County, including Pepe's friend's home in Elkridge, Lewis' grandmother's home in Columbia and Pepe's home in Laurel. Avery Terry was also a part of the discussions.

Pepe, McAdoo and Maready were arrested two days later in connection to the robbery and shooting. Following police surveillance, a black .38 caliber revolver was found in Terry's car.

Terry, 23, also of Laurel, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to accessory after the fact to the robbery that killed Rowe. He was sentenced to 181 months in prison. McAdoo, 21, of Laurel; Lauren Maready, 21, of Highland; and Desmick Lewis, 24, of Columbia pleaded guilty in Howard County Circuit Court to their roles in the robbery and murder. Lewis was sentenced to life in prison, McAdoo was sentenced to 30 years in prison and Maready was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

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