Probable Cause Found in Case Against Kevin Johnson

Fifteen years ago, on November 23, 1998, Kevin McDarin Johnson strangled and killed his former girlfriend in Prince George’s County, detectives say. And on June 4, 1999, he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in Maryland court.

Now, months after he finished serving his five-year parole in late 2013, he faces another murder charge. He’s suspected in the February strangulation death of his girlfriend, 48-year-old Detra Martin.

On Friday, Judge Rhonda Winston found probable cause in Johnson’s case and ordered him held in connection with the case.

Prosecutors believe that Johnson and Martin had been arguing about a loan Martin received from an longtime male friend.

In court Friday, MPD Detective Carter Adams testified that Johnson spoke with police about what happened on February 20. Johnson said details of that night were hard to remember, Adams said.

Maybe I wasn’t in my right frame of mind,” Johnson said, Adams recounted.

Adams testified that Johnson said Martin was alive that night when he left the house. Describing her he said she was laying on her bed gagging. Johnson said he did not call 911 or alert the neighbors of Martin’s distress. Johnson told police that he turned off his phone and took the battery out.

Documents say that Martin was later discovered in a locked bedroom.

In his interview, Johnson told police that Martin had hit him in the past and that she got “up in his face” with a phone that night.

Adams said that Johnson had no visible injuries when he was arrested.

Charging documents say that witness who lived with Martin said that on February 18, Johnson told Martin that he loved her and if he could not have her no one would.

Two days later, the witness spoke to Martin on the phone at around 6:00 p.m. They found Martin dead at approximately 10:40 p.m.

Adams testified that the only other person believed to have keys to the apartment was Johnson.

Documents say that surveillance video from the grounds of the apartment complex shows Johnson entering the building alone around 8:12 p.m. and exiting nearly 90 minutes later carrying a large black bag.

A felony status conference is scheduled for May 21.

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