A Washington, D.C. man described as the "mastermind" of an unsuccessful murder-for-hire plot has been convicted for his role in a "brutal assault," on a Sykesville man at a Jessup gas station in the fall of 2017, the Howard County State's Attorney's Office said.
Eric Ricardo Exum, 49, of the 600 block of Edgewood Street, NE, was found guilty on charges of first-degree assault and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault following a four-day jury trial. Exum is one of three men charged in the attack.
Prosecutors and police say that on Oct. 4, 2017, Exum and Paul Albritton parked at a BP gas station in the 8800 block of Washington Boulevard at about 6:45 a.m. Exum waited in the truck while Albritton went into the station's convenience store. When Albritton came back, a man later identified as Malcolm Xavier Littlejohn approached and struck Albritton in the back of the head with a piece of wooden 2x4 before running away.
Albritton was taken to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, suffering life threatening brain trauma from the blow.
At trial, prosecutors connected Exum to the crime through surveillance footage, cellphone geo-tracking, financial statements, and telephone calls and text messages between him and Littlejohn leading up to the assault.
Prosecutors also played a tape from the detention center where Exum and Littlejohn were being held, in which Exum insinuates to Littlejohn that there is no need for them both to go to jail and that Exum could "make Littlejohn alright" if he took the fall.
Littlejohn, 20, of the 11000 block of Old Columbia Pike in Silver Spring, pleaded guilty in June to first-degree assault and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault. He'll be sentenced on Sept. 13.
A third man, Antwan Zahir Mayhew, 38, of the 3700 block of Donnell Drive in District Heights, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree assault on July 2. Mayhew received a 10-year sentence that was fully suspended.
Exum is scheduled for sentencing on September 27. He faces a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison.