Fort Washington man pleads guilty to murdering 87-year-old after door ding

A 27-year-old Fort Washington, Maryland, man pleaded guilty Wednesday to beating an 87-year-old man to death in a parking lot.

The brutal beating of Johnny Shepherd, which was captured on surveillance video in June 2022, happened after prosecutors say Shepherd door-dinged Julias Wright’s girlfriend’s car.

According to prosecutors, Wright’s girlfriend said the older man pushed her first, before she punched him and then called her boyfriend for help.

Wright is then seen on video punching Shepherd and knocking him to the ground, then repeatedly punching and kicking him as he lied motionless on the ground. Shepherd suffered a brain injury, facial lacerations, nasal bone fractures and other significant injuries as a result of the beating, prosecutors said.

He was taken to the hospital and eventually released on hospice care.

Shepherd died nearly a month after the attack. Wright’s girlfriend, 44-year-old Christina Felder, of Beltsville, was also arrested and charged in the case.

“My heart breaks when I think of the pain that Mr. Shepherd suffered at the hands of Mr. Wright,” Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy said in a news release. “It’s incomprehensible that anyone would do this to another human, especially a vulnerable senior citizen.”

Wright entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder during his trial, shortly after prosecutors presented “strong and persuasive evidence of guilt” against him, Braveboy’s office said.

He faces up to 18 years behind bars and is scheduled for sentencing on June 28.

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Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

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