BALTIMORE (WJZ)— A man pleads guilty for the fatal shooting of a U.S. Marine Corps sergeant during a dispute in a downtown lounge.
Ronald Johnson was convicted Monday of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with all but 30 years suspended.
On July 2, 2010, Sgt. Chase Love joined his friend and fellow Marine, Staff Sgt. Jamal Queen, in a visit to Queen’s hometown of Baltimore prior to their deployment to Afghanistan.
But during a stop at the Hookah Lounge in the 200-block of East Baltimore Street that evening, Love and Johnson engaged in a verbal dispute.
The argument became physical, and eventually Johnson shot Love at least five times with a .25 caliber handgun, killing him.
Before his murder, Love served two tours of duty in Afghanistan and one in Iraq.
Officers recovered seven .25 caliber shell casings from the lounge and a box of .25 caliber cartridges from the basement of Johnson’s home after obtaining a search and seizure warrant.
Johnson also made a statement to a jail cellmate, expressing remorse for the murder and explaining how police secured bullets but no gun.
“I hope this outcome will help bring a sense of closure to his family, friends, and fellow service people,” State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein said.