Police: Man helped friend move, returned to kill landlord

WASHINGTON — Montgomery County police say the man who brutally killed a 72-year-old woman in her Maryland home and stole from her had cased her home when he helped a friend move.

Kwasi Sadler, 23, of Northeast D.C. is facing first degree murder charges for killing Linda Johnston in her Wheaton home after helping her basement tenant move out in late July.

“He was familiar with the layout of the home and with the status of the victim, being older and living alone,” said Ramon Korionoff with the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office.

When officers arrived at Johnston’s home on a welfare call on Aug. 3, they found her body wrapped in a sheet on her bed, and blood spatter around the room that indicated there was a struggle, according to court documents.

“This individual supposedly stabbed her and cut her around the torso area some 30 to 40 times,” Korionoff said.

The tenant and Sadler’s girlfriend were in contact with Sadler following the killing, which police said they believe happened between July 31 and Aug. 1, according to court documents. It remains to be seen if they will be charged in relationship to Johnston’s death or the theft of her car and credit cards.

Sadler, a Target employee, is seen on surveillance video driving Johnston’s 2007 gold Toyota Prius and using her credit cards at stores.

Following a bond hearing Wednesday, a judge decided Sadler was a threat to the community and a flight risk. He was ordered to be held without bond.

Megan Cloherty

WTOP Investigative Reporter Megan Cloherty primarily covers breaking news, crime and courts.

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