Prosecutors no longer seeking death penalty against man accused of killing girlfriend in Mount Wolf

Edia Antonio Lawrence

YORK COUNTY — The York County District Attorney’s Office is no longer seeking the death penalty in its case against a man accused of beating his girlfriend to death outside her Mount Wolf home in 2017, court documents show.

Edia “Richie” Lawrence provided information related to “mitigating factors” in the case, prosecutors wrote in court documents filed July 12.

After reviewing the information, prosecutors decided to withdraw their death-penalty bid.

Lawrence, 20, is still charged with first- and second-degree murder and related crimes in the death of Ahshantianna Johnson, 19, on March 30, 2017. Lawrence is accused of breaking into Johnson’s home with two other men, wearing masks and armed with baseball bats. He allegedly convinced Johnson’s mother to call her and tell her to come home.

Johnson was beaten to death outside, prosecutors say.

Lawrence, of the Bronx, New York, was the leader of a drug distribution ring in York, and Johnson, his on-again, off-again girlfriend, was working for him in some capacity, according to prosecutors.

Lawrence is set to go to trial on Sept. 9. He’s being held without bail in York County Prison.

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