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Man convicted of Ashantianna Johnson's brutal murder outside Mount Wolf home will serve life in prison

Edia Lawrence will also serve a consecutive 5-to-15-year prison term on a conspiracy conviction, York County DA David Sunday said.
Credit: York County District Attorney's Office
Edia Lawrence

MOUNT WOLF, Pa. — A 21-year-old Bronx man convicted in March of murdering Ahshantianna Johnson outside her Mount Wolf home in July 2017 will serve a mandatory life sentence in prison, York County District Attorney David Sunday announced.

In addition to a second-degree murder charge, Edia Lawrence was also found guilty of two counts of robbery, burglary, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, terroristic threats, and criminal conspiracy, Sunday said.

Lawrence will serve a mandatory life sentence for the murder conviction, followed by a consecutive five- to 15-year sentence for criminal conspiracy to robbery, Sunday said.

Johnson died five days after she was found brutally beaten outside a home along the 100 block of South 2nd Street on March 25, after Lawrence and two other men forced themselves into Johnson's mother's house and convinced her to call Johnson and tell her to come home.

The apparent motive for the home invasion and brutal assault against Johnson was Lawrence's belief that Johnson, his on-again, off-again girlfriend, had stolen money from him.

An alleged drug dealer, Lawerence was angry and told a witness that he would take care of it. 

After Johnson's beating, Lawrence told the same witness that he took care of it, police said at the time of his arrest.

Sunday's office originally sought the death penalty against Lawrence, but said in a July 12, 2019 court filing that Lawrence provided information related to “mitigating factors” in the case and withdrew the petition to seek the death penalty.

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