Man Accused of Shooting His Child’s Mother Denied Bail After Overturned Conviction

A 35-year-old man sentenced to life for the murder of his child’s mother three years ago was denied bail on May 27 as he awaits a retrial following a reversed ruling from the Court of Special Appeals.

Arnold Johnson was originally sentenced to life for first-degree murder, a consecutive 20 years for firearm use in a felony violent crime, and a concurrent five years for being a person prohibited from having a handgun after a jury found him guilty in October 2019, approximately eight months after the incident.

The Court of Special Appeals remanded the case in April 2022, finding that the Baltimore City Circuit Court did not ask potential jurors questions regarding the presumption of innocence and the state’s burden of proof despite the defense’s request.

According to a press release from the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, detectives with the Baltimore Police Department were called to the 4900 block of Goodnow Road around 3:45 a.m. on Feb. 15, 2019, for a reported shooting. When officers arrived, they found a woman—later identified as Maryann Wellington—laying on her back on the kitchen floor with a gunshot wound to her head.

Police also found a .40 caliber shell casing on the kitchen counter.

The defendant, who was also at the scene, told police that he and Wellington shared a child and home together.

During his bail hearing, the prosecution informed the court that Johnson and Wellington got into an argument on the night of her murder, which police later learned the victim had recorded on her cell phone.

The state’s attorney’s office reported that the victim recorded the argument and was heard yelling, “get off of me,” and “so you’re going to hit me,” before the sound of a gunshot.

The prosecution noted that Johnson was on probation for second-degree assault against another woman that occurred in Howard County in August 2017.

Defense attorney Gregory Fischer said that his client’s defense attorney in Howard County has filed a motion to void the violation of probation since the murder case was remanded but that a ruling has not yet been made.

Additionally, Fischer asked that his client be released on home detention and live with his sister in Delaware.

In light of the defendant’s prior conviction and seriousness of the current allegations, Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Jeannie J. Hong denied bail.

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