Joshua Wright, 18, of Bethesda has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for the Dec. 19, 2021 fatal stabbing of Lawrence Wilson Jr., 33, in a drug deal gone wrong in a Bethesda Target stairwell, according to the State’s Attorney’s Office.
The sentencing occurred Wednesday at Montgomery County Circuit Court in front of Judge Karla Smith, said Lauren DeMarco, director of public information at the State’s Attorney’s Office.
Wright’s sentence is for 40 years, but should he violate parole or probation upon being released, he would go back to prison for life, DeMarco stated.
According to DeMarco, Judge Smith asked that Wright be admitted into the Patuxent Youthful Offenders Program during his incarceration, and upon release, be placed on five years of supervised probation.
Wright pled guilty when charged with first-degree murder back in July 2022.
He was one among three suspects from Bethesda, charged for robbing and killing Wilson during an alleged drug deal, by stabbing him in a stairwell by the Target at 6831 Wisconsin Ave. in Bethesda, according to police officials.
The other two suspects in the case were a 16-year-old juvenile and Blaise Uchemadu, 19, of Bethesda.
The three teenage suspects were charged as adults with first-degree murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Charges against Uchemadu were dropped in March due to “insufficient evidence,” according to the State’s Attorney’s Office.
Wright’s attorney according to court records is Molly H. Wolfe, who did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
According to DeMarco, the juvenile co-defendant, charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, is scheduled to stand trial Feb. 6, 2023.