Another con­victed in fa­tal stab­bing

Woman en­ters plea af­ter son found guilty of mur­der

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AN­DREW RICHARD­SON arichard­son@somd­

A month af­ter her son was con­victed of sec­ond-de­gree mur­der for the fa­tal stab­bing of a teen last year, a Wal­dorf woman pleaded guilty to con­spir­acy to com­mit first-de­gree as­sault for her in­volve­ment in the in­ci­dent.

Ini­tially in­dicted on a first-de­gree mur­der charge, Pamela Cald­well, 39, en­tered a plea agree­ment on Friday and now awaits a sen­tenc­ing hear­ing, sub­ject to up to 18 months im­pris­on­ment, ac­cord­ing to pros­e­cu­tors. Cald­well ad­mit­ted to point­ing what ap­peared to be a hand­gun

— ac­tu­ally a BB gun — at a teen who tried to stop Shon­dell Mid­dle­ton from re­peat­edly stab­bing his friend, Jour­dan Lu­cas, 18, by at­tempt­ing to kick him in the head. Cald­well’s de­fense at­tor­ney said she did not see the knife in Mid­dle­ton’s hand.

Mid­dle­ton, 19, a close fam­ily friend whom Cald­well con­sid­ers a son, was con­victed of sec­ond-de­gree mur­der on Sept. 16 af­ter a five-day bench trial in Charles County Cir­cuit Court.

Around 10:30 a.m. on May 7, 2015, deputies with the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice re­sponded to the 12300 block of Vi­vian Adams Drive in Wal­dorf for a re­ported as­sault, ac­cord­ing to pre­vi­ous re­ports and court pro­ceed­ings. Upon ar­rival, of­fi­cers found Lu­cas suf­fer­ing from mul­ti­ple stab wounds, in­clud­ing one to his neck which was nearly 3 inches deep. First re­spon­ders be­gan ren­der­ing first aid, but by the time EMS per­son­nel ar­rived on the scene, he had lost his pulse and paramedics at­tempted to re­sus­ci­tate him with CPR. He was pro­nounced dead a short time later.

Court pro­ceed­ings re­vealed that Lu­cas and two other men had showed up at the apart­ment where Mid­dle­ton was stay­ing to con­front him about a drug theft ear­lier in the week in which Mid­dle­ton and another man stole about half an ounce of mar­i­juana from Lu­cas. Mid­dle­ton emerged from the apart­ment and be­gan chas­ing Lu­cas, even­tu­ally catch­ing him and stab­bing him to death.

Days be­fore the in­ci­dent, on the evening of May 4, Lu­cas, his two friends and sev­eral other men had showed up at the apart­ment to con­front Mid­dle­ton about steal­ing the mar­i­juana ear­lier that day, ac­cord­ing to court pro­ceed­ings. They wanted to fight him and another man that lived in­side the apart­ment. The friends tes­ti­fied that Mid­dle­ton and his brother, re­ally a close fam­ily friend, could be seen taunt­ing them by hold­ing up the stolen mar­i­juana as they smoked.

Lu­cas’ friends both tes­ti­fied that two cars filled with men ar­rived out­side the com­plex on Lu­cas’ be­half. Now ap­prox­i­mately 10 men were out­side the apart­ment yelling and bang­ing on the door, try­ing to get the two in­side to come out to fight. Wit­nesses tes­ti­fied that Lu­cas wrapped his fist with his shirt and punched out a win­dow of Mid­dle­ton’s fam­ily car. The group also threw a fire ex­tin­guisher through the back wind­shield and later re­turned — af­ter po­lice had re­sponded to the scene and since left — to spray paint the car and write ex­ple­tives on the apart­ment door, ac­cord­ing to pro­ceed­ings.

On the morn­ing of May 7, Cald­well and her mother had been at work when Mid­dle­ton called to tell them that the group of men were back and ha­rass­ing him, ac­cord­ing to court pro­ceed­ings. He was alone in­side the apart­ment as they yelled at him to come out. Lu­cas had wanted to fight Mid­dle­ton one-on-one, ac­cord­ing to tes­ti­mony from Lu­cas’ two friends.

As the trio waited out­side for Mid­dle­ton, Cald­well and her mother ar­rived at the apart­ment, ac­cord­ing to pro­ceed­ings. Cald­well held the BB gun and be­gan yelling at the three out­side, ask­ing if they were the ones who had van­dal­ized their prop­erty. The grand­mother tes­ti­fied that her daugh­ter yelled “Shon­dell,” and Mid­dle­ton burst out of the apart­ment, and that’s when Lu­cas and the friends be­gan to run in dif­fer­ent di­rec­tions. Mid­dle­ton then chased Lu­cas with Cald­well fol­low­ing be­hind with the BB gun, as the other two went through the com­plex and down the ad­ja­cent, par­al­lel street.

As one of Lu­cas’ friends reached the end of the street, he tes­ti­fied that he saw Lu­cas and Mid­dle­ton in a vi­o­lent strug­gle. He said he saw Mid­dle­ton strik­ing Lu­cas sev­eral times. “I ran closer and that’s when I saw blood and a knife fall,” he tes­ti­fied. “… As they fell, the knife fell too.”

He said that Mid­dle­ton was on top of Lu­cas when he tried to kick Mid­dle­ton in the head, but missed. Mid­dle­ton then grabbed the knife again, he tes­ti­fied, and pointed it at him. Mid­dle­ton’s mother then came and pointed what was per­ceived to be a real gun at him and said, “Get away from my baby; you’re not go­ing to hurt my baby.” So, he left and came back shortly af­ter to find Lu­cas suf­fer­ing from mul­ti­ple stab wounds. He and the other friend stayed with him as po­lice and EMS ar­rived on the scene.

“I just re­mem­ber just swing­ing,” Mid­dle­ton tes­ti­fied un­der cross ex­am­i­na­tion. “I blacked out … I was just swing­ing.”

A sen­tenc­ing hear­ing has been sched­uled for Mid­dle­ton on Nov. 7, while Cald­well is set for Nov. 30.

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