News Release, Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office

LA PLATA, MD—Tony Covington, State’s Attorney for Charles County, announced that on Thursday, December 19, 2019, a Charles County jury convicted Melvin Edward Johnson, 63, of Home Invasion, First-Degree Assault, Attempted First-Degree Arson, Second-Degree Assault, Reckless Endangerment and related charges.

On July 1, 2018, officers responded to a residence in the 3300 block of Old Washington Road in Waldorf for a report of a home invasion and violation of a peace order. Upon arrival, officers discovered victim Agnes Reed, who was soaking wet and had a strong odor of gasoline emanating from her clothing.

They also observed a portion of the residence’s driveway actively engulfed in flames. Officers were able to make contact with multiple people who were inside of the house at the time of the incident. They reported that Johnson forcefully broke into the residence by smashing a sliding glass patio door, rushed into the residence and began throwing gasoline on Reed. 

He then proceeded to pour gasoline throughout the house, including a bedroom located towards the back of the house. Johnson was able to successfully ignite a fire in the bedroom, scorching the carpet. A physical confrontation ensued after male occupants of the house tried to restrain Johnson; however, Johnson was eventually able to escape outside.

While outside, Johnson lit a cup of gasoline on fire and attempted to throw it onto Reed; however, hit the driveway instead. 

At the time of the incident, the residence was occupied by four people. Reed also had an active peace order against Johnson ordering him to have no contact with her.

A sentencing date has been scheduled for February 20, 2020. Johnson faces over 90 years in prison.


  • First-Degree Assault of Agnes Reed
  • Reckless Endangerment of Agnes Reed
  • Home Invasion
  • Attempted First-Degree Arson
  • Violation of Final Peace Order
  • Second-Degree Assault of Kelvin Dickens
  • Reckless Endangerment of Kelvin Dickens
  • Reckless Endangerment of Ralph Sargent
  • Second-Degree Assault of George Toye
  • Reckless Endangerment of George Toye
  • Malicious Destruction of Property Valued Less than $1,000

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...