Arrest made in Mount Wolf homicide

Christopher Dornblaser
  • Police have filed charges in a homicide that claimed the life of a Mount Wolf teen last month.
  • Edia Antonio Lawrence, 18, of Bronx, New York, faces charges of homicide and assault.
  • He is also wanted for a separate incident out in Jackson Township, according to police.

Police have charged a New York man in the homicide of a Mount Wolf teen last month.

Edia Antonio Lawrence, charged in the March 25, 2017, assault on Ahshantiana Johnson, who died March 30, 2017.

Edia Antonio Lawrence, 18, who police say sometimes stayed at his aunt's home on Matthews Drive, Conewago Township, is accused in the death of 19-year-old Ahshantianna Johnson, online court records state. He has a Bronx, New York, address currently, those same records state.

Northeastern Regional Police said Johnson was assaulted on March 25 and died from her injuries five days later. Police have said she was targeted in the assault.

Lawrence is charged with homicide, robbery, burglary, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, simple assault and terroristic threats, among other charges.

Northeastern Regional Police filed the charges Wednesday, and Lawrence was arraigned that night at central booking. He was remanded to York County Prison after being denied bail, according to the York County Sheriff's office.

His charging documents were not immediately available Wednesday afternoon.

The background: Johnson was injured about 3 a.m. March 25 by one or more assailants in the 100 block of South Second Street, and she was admitted to York Hospital, according to a news release from York County Coroner Pam Gay.

Johnson was pronounced dead at the hospital at 2:30 p.m. March 30, that release states.

Northeastern Regional Police Chief Bryan Rizzo said at the time that Johnson had just driven home and was walking into her home when she was assaulted.

"She was found in the backyard, she was coming home," he said.

Rizzo said that Johnson's death was the first homicide for the department since 2005.

The chief also said the department was surprised to hear about the assault and homicide.

"Especially in the borough," he said. "It's one of our quietest areas."

The chief said at the time that residents should not be concerned for their safety.

"We believe this was an isolated incident, she was possibly targeted," he said.

Other charges: At the time of the Mount Wolf assault, Lawrence had been wanted by Northern York County Regional Police.

Police say on March 15, Lawrence shot at a man and threatened to kill the man's mother in their Jackson Township home.

Lawrence has been charged with aggravated assault, discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure, simple assault, terroristic threats and reckless endangerment in that incident.

According to charging documents, a resident reported a shooting about 8 p.m. March 15 in the area of the 5200 block of Lincoln Highway, Jackson Township,

Police met with Jeremy Moffit and his mother, who live on the block. Moffit told officials that a friend was recently sold drugs by an unknown male, later identified as Lawrence, after his friend had been clean for some time, police allege.

Moffit was "extremely upset," police say, and he arranged for Lawrence to sell him drugs so he could call the police on him.

Police: Mount Wolf homicide victim targeted

Deal: The two met at Moffit's residence in a white BMW with a female passenger, police said. When Lawrence showed up to exchange his marijuana for Moffit's money, Lawrence was directed to the back of a detached garage, police said.

Moffit told police that Lawrence showed him a plastic bag with the marijuana in it, and Moffit then walked to the back of the garage to get a cellphone from a toolbox, according to court documents.

Lawrence then asked what Moffit was doing, to which he replied that he was going to call police, charging documents state.

At this point, the two began to wrestle, police said, and it escalated to the point where Moffit was able to grab a knife and slash at Lawrence, causing him to leave the garage. Moffit remained inside the detached garage, police said.

He heard Lawrence at one point say "Just give me my s— and I'll leave," according to court documents.

Alleged shooting: Police say Moffit's mother had just come home that night from shopping when she heard a knock on the rear door. Lawrence was there and said her son was trying to rob him, documents allege.

Moffit's mother was "startled," but Lawrence just beckoned for her to come to the garage, police said. She walked to the back of the garage and yelled out for her son. When Moffit refused to opened the door, Lawrence pointed the gun at Moffit's mother's head and said he was going to kill her if Moffit didn't open the door, according to police.

Lawrence also said he would kill her other children as well and began walking toward the house, documents allege.

When the door opened, Lawrence fired into the garage, police said.

Ahshantianna Ali Johnson, 19 of Mount Wolf, died Thursday, five days after being assaulted outside of her South Second St. home. Friday, March 31, 2017.  John A. Pavoncello photo

Moffit said he felt "heat" next to his right inner thigh and fell on the garage floor, court documents state.

Police say Lawrence then left the scene.

On the scene, numerous blood drops could be seen outside the garage in the snow, which police say came from Lawrence during the altercation with the knife.

The phone number used to set up the deal was given to police, and they were able to track it to Lawrence, according to documents. They went to Lawrence's aunt's house on Matthews Drive, Conewago Township, but were unable to find him. Police say Lawrence's aunt could not find him either.

The charges for this alleged incident were filed March 29.

— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.