‘He just kept shoot­ing and shoot­ing’

Mother testifies against man ac­cused of killing her son in Jan­uary 2015

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By Jessica An­der­son jkan­der­son@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/jan­ders5

Ac­quinetta John­son de­scribed watch­ing as her son was gunned down by his friend who had spent the night in her home and shared meals with her fam­ily.

“He was stand­ing on top of my son, shoot­ing my son,” she tes­ti­fied Thurs­day. “He just kept shoot­ing and shoot­ing.”

John­son was the first wit­ness called to the stand in the trial of Charles Henson, who is charged with first-de­gree mur­der in the killing of her son, Davon John­son, 28, in 2015.

John­son tes­ti­fied that she did not im­me­di­ately pro­vide in­for­ma­tion to po­lice be­cause she feared re­tal­i­a­tion against her and her grand­daugh­ter. She didn’t talk to neigh­bors about the shoot­ing, ei­ther, be- cause “they all know each other,” she said.

Po­lice say Henson fa­tally shot John­son at the cor­ner of Wal­brook Av­enue and Ben­talou Street in the Mon­dawmin neigh­bor­hood on Jan. 28, 2015, then set fire to his home nearby on Feb. 22 to in­tim­i­date his fam­ily and any wit­nesses from talk­ing to po­lice.

As Bal­ti­more po­lice searched for Henson, they dubbed him “Pub­lic En­emy No. 1.”

Bal­ti­more Cir­cuit Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill in­structed ju­rors Thurs­day that while the fire at John­son’s home might come up in tes­ti­mony, Henson was not on trial for ar­son.

Henson’s at­tor­ney, Richard Woods, urged ju­rors in open­ing state­ments to lis­ten to tes­ti­mony care­fully and re­main open­minded.

“Pay at­ten­tion to ev­ery­thing that hap­pens in this court­room,” he said, adding, “It has to be a moral cer­tainty” to con­vict Henson.

John­son tes­ti­fied that on the day her son was killed, she had asked him to pick up some gravy for a roast she was mak­ing. She said her son left their home with Henson, and that she heard two shots shortly af­ter. She said she ran to her front porch, where she saw Henson fac­ing her, stand­ing over her son with a gun.

John­son said she called out to Henson to stop, but he did not. She also heard her son call out for her.

John­son said she ran back into her house and locked the door, out of fear for her safety. She then tried to call another son when she heard neigh­bors knocking on her door. She said she didn’t open her door un­til she heard an am­bu­lance come down the street. She walked with a neigh­bor to where her son lay on the ground, with med­i­cal per­son­nel try­ing to re­sus­ci­tate him.

She said a neigh­bor drove her to the hos­pi­tal, fol­low­ing the am­bu­lance.

Dur­ing cross-ex­am­i­na­tion, Woods ques­tioned why John­son had not gone to po­lice sooner. John­son did not pro­vide po­lice her ac­count un­til Feb. 11.

She told Woods she was con­cerned for her and her grand­daugh­ter’s safety, and said that she had wanted to bury her son first.

Woods also ques­tioned how well she could wit­ness the shoot­ing from her porch, and where on the porch she was. He noted some state­ments in which she said she was stand­ing at her door, and asked John­son if she was chang­ing her state­ment. “I was on my porch,” she told Woods. Woods also ques­tioned why John­son did not name Henson to any close rel­a­tives who came to visit her af­ter her son’s death.

She said she told some fam­ily mem­bers that her son was shot by one of his friends, and that she didn’t give the name be­cause they wouldn’t have known Henson.

John­son tes­ti­fied that some­time af­ter the shoot­ing, she was driv­ing out­side Mon­dawmin Mall when she saw Henson in another car, and he made a mo­tion to­ward her as if he had a gun.

Af­ter she gave her state­ment to homi­cide de­tec­tives, John­son said, she was re­lo­cated to a ho­tel, and later another, and is now rent­ing a home.

“He knew where I lived,” she said.

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