A man was ordered on Tuesday to serve two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole for carrying out a pair of deadly shootings in 2021, including the killing of an on-duty Baltimore Police officer.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Jennifer B. Schiffer said Elliot Knox, 34, of Mount Holly, gunned down Officer Keona Holley and Justin Johnson in the primes of their lives, as she imposed the sentence for two counts of first-degree murder and related crimes. She characterized the evidence as compelling and described the killings as brutal and senseless.

In a statement, Baltimore State’s Attorney Ivan Bates said the punishment “conveys an unequivocal message that acts of violence, which have afflicted our communities, will not be tolerated.”

“This sentence ensures that Mr. Knox will never be able to harm anyone in Baltimore again,” Bates said. “Our steadfast dedication to pursuing justice for victims of crime and ensuring the safety of our streets for all will continue undeterred.”

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On Dec. 16, 2021, Knox fatally shot Holley, a two-year veteran, at about 1:30 a.m. as she sat in her patrol car on Pennington Avenue near Hazel Street in Curtis Bay, prosecutors allege. She died one week later at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Holley joined the Baltimore Police Department to make a difference. She was 39.

Later, Knox and Travon Shaw, prosecutors assert, shot and killed Johnson, whom family members described as a 37-year-old father of five, at about 3 a.m. while he sat in his 1997 Lincoln Town Car on Lucia Avenue near Airy Hill Avenue in Yale Heights.

Shaw, 35, of Catonsville, is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole — plus 20 years — on two counts of first-degree murder in the killings.

Baltimore Police Officer Keona Holley, left, and Justin Johnson, right, are seen in these submitted photos. (courtesy of WJZ)

Knox’s attorney, Natalie Finegar, spoke about how her client grew up in Park Heights and endured a traumatic childhood. She said he experiences severe mental health issues.

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When Knox was 6 or 7, his grandmother gave him Kool-Aid that might’ve been spiked with antifreeze. He later landed at North Branch Correctional Institution after committing a series of armed robberies at 16 and was stabbed and beaten, Finegar said.

Following his release from prison, Knox, she said, worked in landscaping, delivered food for DoorDash, performed as an adult entertainer and pursued becoming a mixed martial arts fighter.

Finegar asked for a lesser punishment: life in prison with the possibility of parole.

For more than 30 minutes, Knox protested his innocence and, without evidence, claimed that the Black Guerilla Family gang had infiltrated the police, mayor’s office and hospitals and ordered her killing.

Bates said his office reviewed and investigated all the claims and could not corroborate them.

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Assistant State’s Attorney Kurt Bjorklund pushed for two consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole plus 35 years in prison. He said there was “overwhelming evidence” against Knox and described what happened as a “night of executions.”

At trial, Bjorklund called more than a dozen witnesses and presented evidence including DNA, ballistics and cellphone location information. Knox admitted to being present at both crimes scenes but denied pulling the trigger. He told investigators where to find two guns — a Glock 22 and an Extar EXP-556 — that he stashed at a home in Windsor Mill after the killings.

“Evil is the complete lack of empathy for another person,” Bjorklund said. “That’s how I like to describe what the defendant and his co-defendant did that night.”

Six family members gave statements, speaking about the depths of their loss as well as the pain of not having answers in the case.

One of Holley’s daughters, Kyjonna Holley, told Knox that the world was a better place without him. She compared him to the devil, adding “you will reap what you sow.”

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“You never said why you did it,” Kyjonna Holley said. “You have no remorse. You have no heart.”

Lawanda Sykes, Keona Holley’s sister, described her sibling as a “lover of life” who enjoyed singing karaoke, spending time with family members and friends and serving as a police officer.

Sykes said her sister was a mother of four and detailed how the killing has affected her children. She referenced the Ten Commandments and called Knox a “coward who doesn’t deserve to live a free life.”

“You stole a life that did not belong to you,” said Sykes, who repeatedly asked Knox why he committed the murders. “You stole a life that belonged to God.”

Johnson’s mother, Justina Lawrence, told the judge that she was struggling to find the words.

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That’s because Lawrence said no one was aware of any connection that Knox had to her son. She said she was not sure why he committed the murders. Was he a follower or a leader?

“I know the truth will never be known,” Lawrence said. “To this day, they have not told the truth.”