A jury found John F. Haston of Clinton guilty Monday of felony murder in the shooting death of a Bowie man last July that involved another man who had allegedly dressed as a Pepco worker to gain entry into the victimís home.
Haston, 47, showed no emotion on hearing the guilty verdict shortly before 5 p.m., but his wife broke down in sobs.
Hastonís wife declined to comment, and his attorney, Jeff Harding declined to give her name or comment. The jury had deliberated for about two hours.
Prince Georgeís County Circuit Court Judge Beverly Woodard scheduled sentencing for July 20.
Haston faces a sentence up to life plus 60 to 100 years, said John Erzen, spokesman for the Prince Georgeís County Office of the Stateís Attorney.
Prosecutors with the office accused Haston and Craig S. Brooks, 51, of District Heights of robbing David W. Williams, 44, of the 13200 block of Livingstone Endeavor Drive in the Fairwood subdivision, which is just outside Bowie city limits. Prosecutors said Williamsí hands and feet were bound on July 13, and he was fatally shot once in the chest. However, prosecutors said they could not say which man shot Williams.
The jury found Haston guilty of robbery with a dangerous weapon and burglary, two felonies, during which a murder took place.
On May 22, Brooks entered an Alford plea of guilty, which means he doesnít admit guilt but acknowledges there is likely enough evidence to convict him, to charges of first-degree murder and use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence. Woodard sentenced him to life in prison on the murder charge, with all but 50 years suspended, followed by five years supervised probation. He was also sentenced to 20 years on the use of handgun charge to be served concurrently.
Assistant Stateís Attorney Jason Knight said important to his case against Haston was the testimony of Williamsí fiancťe, Scquana Majors, who lived with Williams. Williams owned a laundromat in Glenarden and kept coins from the machines in buckets in the house, according to charging documents.
Majors declined to comment.
Posing as a Pepco utility worker, Brooks visited Williamsí house July 12 to talk about electrical issues, according to Harding. The next day, prosecutors said he returned with Haston about noon when Williams was alone in the house.
Majors returned to the house about 12:45 p.m. and was talking in her car on her cell phone when she saw the garage doors slowly rise, recognizing Brooks from the day before and another man in front of him carrying a bucket in the garage, according to Harding.
She went into the house, found Williams on the floor and called 911, Knight said. Brooks and Haston then left through the garage, and Brooks drove away in his car, said Knight in his closing arguments.
County police stopped Haston a short while later on Big Cedar Lane not far from the Williams house. About 30 yards away were three buckets containing about $1,200 in coins and other items from the house, according to charging documents. Police drove Majors to the location, and she identified Haston as the man she saw in the garage, although Harding questioned during his closing arguments how reliable the identification was, because she didnít clearly see his face.
Harding also said there was no evidence of Hastonís fingerprints in the house, although Knight argued that there were 33 cell phone calls between Brooks and Haston in the 36 hours leading up to the murder.
Knight also linked Haston to a pair of gloves, which he said explains the lack of fingerprints, and a ski mask.