Laurel shooting victim target of drug deal robbery

The Laurel man found fatally shot in a pickup truck in North Laurel was shot in the head and is believed to be the target of a drug robbery gone wrong, according to the charging documents produced by Howard County police.

Police have charged Desmick Jermario Lewis, 22, of the 7000 block of Talisman Lane in Columbia; Amanda Nicole McAdoo, 18, of the of 9500 Park Avenue in Laurel; Lauren Elizabeth Maready, 18, of the 12800 block of Lime Kiln Road in Highland; and Taylor King Pepe, 19, of the 8300 block of Sand Cherry Lane in Laurel. 

All four, who were charged last week, face first-degree murder charges. 

Lewis, who is being held without bond at Howard County Detention Center, is believed to be the trigger man, according to police.

Maready and McAdoo, who are believed to have orchestrated the meet up with the victim, identified as Russell Elbert Rowe, 20 of Main Street, were extradited to Howard County from Pennsylvania on Monday and are currently being held on bond, according to online court records.

Pepe is being held without bond. 

According to the documents, police believe Rowe was targeted by the foursome who planned to rob him at gunpoint of four Oxycodone pills, valued at approximately $120.

The following sequence of events is derived from the charging documents:

At 9:57 p.m. on Jan. 23, a resident living in the 9400 block of Sewall Road in North Laurel reported a pickup truck had driven into a tree on his front lawn. First responders from Howard County's Department of Fire and Rescue Services arrived and found Rowe in the driver's seat of the vehicle alone.

First responders also observed a series of small holes in the driver-side window, which police officers confirmed to be bullet holes. 

Rowe, who was shot in the head multiple times, was alive upon arrival and flown to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Rowe would die on Jan. 26.

Police officers investigating the shooting learned a witness saw two people, a man and a woman, near the scene of the crash. The witness said the woman was yelling at the man, who had a handgun. The pair fled in a car, the witness told police.

Officers searched the pickup and found a cellphone belonging to Rowe. On the phone were 120 text messages exchanged between a phone officers traced to McAdoo. 

The text message exchange, which began at 4 p.m. earlier that day, was initiated by McAdoo who was looking to buy drugs off Rowe. Police used phone records to link the three others charged to the crime. 

Investigators interviewed McAdoo on Jan. 25, where she told police the four planned to rob Rowe. 

McAdoo told police she and Lewis, who had the gun, approached Rowe's car and attempted to rob Rowe. As Rowe attempted to drive off, Lewis allegedly fired one shot into the car, according to the charging documents. 

All four then fled, according to the documents. 

Police said they also interviewed Maready, who corroborated McAdoo's story except she allegedly told police Lewis fired the gun twice, according to the documents. 

All four charged have preliminary hearings set for February, although it is likely they will be indicted before then, which would move the case to Howard County Circuit Court. 

Pepe has a criminal jury trial in connection with a second incident set for Feb. 25. In that case, police say he allegedly threatened to kill a woman if she left his home after a visit in September 2013. He faces assault and false imprisonment charges in that case. 

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