Life sentence for man who murdered elderly Silver Spring woman

ROCKVILLE, MD -- A Northeast D.C. man was sentenced to life in prison for the 2016 murder of an elderly Silver Spring woman.

Kwasi Sadler, 24, had pled guilty to first-degree murder and other charges related to the death of Linda Johnston, 72.

In his remarks, Montgomery County Circuit Judge Robert Greenberg said he was "completely bewildered" by the rage and savagery of the murder and was giving the life sentence because, as he told the Sadler, “You are a danger, sir.”

Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy said after the sentencing that this case was a very difficult one for his office.

"And one of great importance because we want to make sure that seniors who live independently in this community can feel safe in their homes and that they’re not subject to the kind of violence we saw take place with Ms. Johnston," added McCarthy.

Prosecutors said in July 2016, Sadler had helped a friend who was a tenant of Johnston's move out. Then, on August 1, he returned with the intention of stealing her car.

McCarthy said Sadler broke into the home, made his way through the kitchen and armed himself with a knife as he walked to the front door where the car keys were. He added that Johnston confronted Sadler at this point, Sadler told her to go back to her bedroom, but then he followed her there and savagely attacked.

"Injuries almost numbering over 50 of cutting and stabbing injuries. It's a brutal attack against this woman," said McCarthy. He added that Sadler then stole Johnston's car and credit card and used them for several days.

In court, prosecutors said Sadler had claimed that he had drank two bottles of tequila, done four grams of cocaine, and half a cologne bottle of PCP that night. But they countered that surveillance videos showed him driving and speaking with people later that day, seemingly fine, as well as showing up for work less than 24 hours later.

"In court you saw a report entered in by the defense, that suggested that he had not had any PCP or even any cocaine for months prior to this particular incident," added McCarthy.