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Crime

Annapolis man faces life in prison after Alford plea in robbery that led to killing

An Annapolis man faces a sentence of up to life in prison for his involvement in a robbery in October 2021 that left a Baltimore man dead.

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Kenon Jamal Jackson Jr., 22, alongside his defense attorney, Lewyn S. Garrett, entered an Alford plea to first-degree murder on Tuesday before Anne Arundel Circuit Judge J. Michael Wachs. An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt but concedes that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict. It carries the same weight as a guilty plea.

Jackson will be sentenced Dec. 20.

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Jackson, an Annapolis resident, is one of three defendants facing murder charges for the Pleasant Street shooting death of Cornell Young, a 23-year-old from Baltimore who was killed during a daytime robbery Oct. 12, 2021. Jackson is not accused of pulling the trigger of the gun that killed Young. Police say he participated in robbing Young and another man along with Jaonte Coates, 32, and Shammond Vonzell Taylor, 24, who both also face murder charges.

Police wrote in charging documents that Young and his friend had driven from Baltimore to Annapolis and met with Jackson and Taylor at about 1 p.m., Oct. 12, in a parking lot. Taylor drew a gun and pointed it at Young as Jackson took a backpack from the other man, according to charging papers. Young fought back, leading Taylor to shoot him.

Investigators believe Coates was involved because he arrived as the two men from Baltimore were being robbed and entered their car, communicating with Jackson and Taylor and eventually fleeing with them, according to charging documents.

All three men were arrested and charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery and first-degree assault. Taylor is scheduled for a 10-day trial in January and February next year. Coates, who was arrested in June, has not yet been scheduled for further court dates on his charges.


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