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NYGHEE NICHOLAS JOHNSON v. STATE OF MARYLAND

Criminal procedure — Jury instruction — Defense of others

Norwood Johnson and Nyghee Johnson were tried jointly in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County for causing the deaths of Stanley Brunson and Shameek Joyner. The State alleged that the defendants arranged through a middleman, Jeane Juste, to sell 21 pounds of marijuana to Brunson and Joyner, for $25,000. When the parties met at Juste’s apartment for the planned sale, Brunson and Joyner were shot several times. Afterwards, Juste stabbed Brunson repeatedly.

Brunson and Joyner died from their injuries. A jury convicted Norwood Johnson and Nyghee Johnson of four counts each: conspiracy to distribute marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, second-degree felony murder of Brunson, and second-degree felony murder of Joyner. The court sentenced both defendants to two, consecutive 20-year prison terms.

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