MECHANICSVILLE, MD – In a shocking turn of events, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office has made significant progress in the investigation of a homicide that occurred on Wednesday morning. Two suspects have been arrested and charged in connection with the crime, according to the Sheriff’s Office detectives.

The incident unfolded at approximately 5:28 am on May 24, 2023, when deputies from the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office responded to a distress call reporting a male victim with a gunshot wound to the head. The address of the incident was an apartment located in the 29000 block of Three Notch Road in Mechanicsville. Tragically, the victim, identified as Raymond Franklin Woods Jr., a 54-year-old resident of Mechanicsville, was found lifeless on a couch by the responding officers.

The Criminal Investigations Division of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office took charge of the case, working in collaboration with the Crime Lab Unit and a forensic investigator from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. After a thorough examination, the medical examiner concluded that the gunshot wound was indeed a result of a homicide.

Following extensive investigative efforts, law enforcement officials arrested two individuals believed to be responsible for the murder. Marvin Orlando Johnson, a 38-year-old resident of Mechanicsville, was charged with First-Degree Murder, Second-Degree Murder, Use of a Firearm in the Commission of a Crime of Violence, First-Degree Assault, and Second-Degree Assault. The second suspect, Marlee Lynn Stokes, a 37-year-old from Charlotte Hall, was charged with First-Degree Murder: Accessory After the Fact and Second-Degree Murder: Accessory After the Fact.

Both Johnson and Stokes have been remanded to the custody of the St. Mary’s County Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Leonardtown. They are currently being held without the possibility of bail, awaiting further legal proceedings.

The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is actively seeking additional information from the public regarding this heinous crime. Detective Andrew Burgess, who is leading the investigation, has requested that anyone with knowledge related to the incident come forward. If you have any details that may assist the investigation, please contact Detective Andrew Burgess at 301-475-4200, extension 8041. Alternatively, you can send an email to

As the investigation continues, the community remains shocked and saddened by this tragic loss of life. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is committed to bringing justice to the victim and his family, and they will spare no effort in ensuring that the perpetrators are held accountable for their actions. The diligent work of law enforcement officials in swiftly apprehending the suspects highlights their dedication to maintaining public safety and upholding the rule of law.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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