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Mount Wolf homicide suspect had dated 19-year-old victim

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Edia Antonio Lawrence

YORK COUNTY, Pa. – Northeastern Regional Police have charged 18-year-old Edia Antonio Lawrence for the murder of Ahshantianna Ali Johnson, of Mount Wolf.

Johnson died five days after she was found brutally beaten outside a home along the 100 block of South 2nd Street on March 25, according to court documents.

Lawrence and Johnson were boyfriend and girlfriend and classmates at Northeastern High School.

Lawrence, along with two other men masked men, forced their way into Johnson’s mothers’ home at about 2:15 a.m.

At 3:48 a.m., Johnson’s mother called 911 to report that three men had entered the home and began stealing personal property.

Johnson’s mother reported that they took a 42-inch Vizio TV, a 36-inch Vizio TV, a Playstation 3 game console, a Playstation 4 remote control stick, a pair of Adidas sneakers, a camouflage and black woman’s jacket, a pink blue tooth speaker, a USA book bag and $22 in cash.

In the midst of the burglary, one of the men threatened her with a metal baseball bat and knife, and demanded that she call her daughter and have her come to the home.

The victim finally reached her daughter’s cell phone and told her that there was a family emergency and she needed to come home.  The victim said that she recognized the voice of suspect with the baseball bat as “Richie”. Johnson’s mother told police that she recognized “Richie” by his eyes and that he had been dating her daughter, but they recently broke up.

“Richie” told one of the other men to get some duct tape from the car out back. When Johnson arrived at the house she was brutally assaulted.

During the investigation, Johnson’s mother said she did not know “Richie’s” last name but gave detectives the name of a teacher at Northeastern High School who would know his last name because “Richie” and her daughter were in his class together.

Detectives contacted the teacher and learned that “Richie” was Edia Lawrence. The teacher confirmed that Lawrence and Johnson were in his class and was under the impression that they were dating. Police also learned that Lawrence had family in New York, but lived with aunt in York County. Investigators also learned that Lawrence had a 2011 BMW 328xi, 4 door sedan.

Police eventually discovered the apparent motive for the home invasion and brutal assault against Johnson. Lawrence was allegedly dealing drugs and was upset that Johnson had stole a lot of money from him. Lawrence allegedly told a witness that he’d take care of it.

After Johnson was beaten, Lawrence told the same witness that they took care of it.

Northeastern Police asked for an arrest warrant charging Lawrence with Criminal Homicide, Robbery, Burglary, Theft by Unlawful Taking, Receiving Stolen Property, Terroristic Threats, and Simple Assault.

Lawrence was arraigned in night court and committed to York County Prison.