Friday, March 9, 2007

March 9

It was a banner week for city prosecutors.

Devon Richardson, 15, of the 5100 block of Belair Road pled guilty today to second-degree murder. Under terms of the plea agreement, announced in open court, Richardson faces a maximum possible prison sentence of 20 years suspend all but a maximum of 10 years when Judge Wanda K. Heard sentences him on May 3. According to court testimony Richardson, who was 14 at the time, was a child in need of assistance (CINA) who was not in school the day of the incident. On September 26, 2006 Richardson shot and killed Janice Letmate, 67, with a .22 caliber rifle while she was walking home in the 4000 block of Biddison Lane. Letmate suffered a single gunshot to the head. One witness described him as aiming the gun and another described him as holding the gun in her direction when the gun fired.

This afternoon a Baltimore jury convicted Erik Stoddard, 26, of the 2500 block of Moore Avenue, of second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, second-degree assault and first- and second-degree child abuse resulting in death. Prosecutors proceeded with a new trial after the Court of Appeals vacated Stoddard's 2003 conviction. The jury deliberated for approximately four hours before reaching its verdict following five days of testimony. Judge Allen L. Schwait ordered a pre-sentence investigation and scheduled sentencing for May 9, 2007. Stoddard faces a maximum possible prison term of 60 years. The backstor:
A Baltimore City jury convicted Stoddard March 13, 2003 of second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death for the death of Calen Faith Dirubbo, 3, and Stoddard began serving a 60-year prison term. On December 8, 2005 the Maryland Court of Appeals vacated Stoddard's conviction, citing evidentiary issues regarding hearsay testimony. The mother of an 18-month-old child who witnessed the murder testified how a surviving child now acts and that the child asked, "Is Erik going to get me?" These statements were not used by prosecutors in this second trial.

On June 15, 2002 Dirubbo was pronounced dead at her home, where she lived with her mother and Stoddard. Dirubbo died as a result of multiple beatings over a period of at least a month; the fatal blow occurred June 15, 2002 and severed her bowel. The State proved through detailed medical evidence that Stoddard was the only person who had custody of Dirubbo when the fatal blow occurred. Julie Drake, Chief of the Felony Family Violence Division, and Assistant State's Attorney Jeremy Eldridge prosecuted this case.
Robert J. Brown, 46 and a former soldier, had been working as an apartment super until he was arrested for raping and killing a woman 23 years ago near Bad Homburg, Germany.

Joseph Kopera, a ballistics expert for the state police, shot and killed himself last Thursday, a day after leaving his job as a state police ballistics examiner. Officials said his academic credentials were being questioned, they expect a ton of defendants to appeal, and now the backgrounds of all state police lab employees are being audited.

What's old is new again: Baltimore police are walking the streets, and the difference has been "mind-boggling."

tamil tiger logoThe final Tamil Tiger on trial, Haji Subandi, pled guilty to conspiring to ship surface-to-air missles to Sri Lanka.

Jesse Holbrook, 16, allegedly dragged a police officer more than 200 feet during a traffic stop on Route 40 in Elkton. Holbrook was arrested and charged as an adult with multiple traffic violations, resisting arrest and assault ("charged with charges").

A decade later, theories abound, but still no one really knows who killed Biggie.


Marc said...

Cops walking a beat is great, but it seems like this program is just a form of hazing the new guys:

After graduating from the police department’s training academy, new officers now must walk a beat on foot for two months before getting assigned to a district, where officers generally respond to calls by car.

It's working so well that after two months, they send the officers out to do things the old, stupid way?

Dopple said...

OMG cops walking a beat! Actually seeing a cop walk by instead of speeding by with sirens blaring! Looks like this program is working so well, it'll have to be canceled post haste. **note sarcasim**

DurhamSt said...

This should cheer you up

Violent Crime in America: 24 Months of Alarming Trends

- from the Police Executive Research Forum

C Love "The Rap Addict" said...

Cops on the beat:

Not convinced this is being implimented in all jurisdictions

Haven't seen any in my grandfather's neighborhood (EA and Poplar Grove) and that's where crime actually occurs daily.

Sat on the front during a warm day last month for like 3 hours and didnt see a one...on foot or in a car.

Maybe this is for the more "desireable" neighborhoods in Baltimore only. Ima keep my eyes open.

burgersub said...

you didn't read the article, did you, c love?

ppatin said...

Devon Richardson was NOT a "child in need of assistance." He's a little monster. Who else goes around pegging old ladies with a rifle. That piece of human garbage should be thrown in the slammer for the rest of his life.

Unknown said...

The day my neighborhood gets foot patrols I will probably turn blue and start growing daisies out of my ass.... the cops around here, when they are around is only because of a call and that's if they come in a timely fashion.

Foot patrols is like a Christmas wish that will never happen.

SUPREME said...

"Maybe this is for the more "desireable" neighborhoods in Baltimore only"
let me co-sign this !!

Patterson Park!!! well, thats not
exactly violent .. Butchers Hill, which sounds pretty VIOLENT(lol)
has been on the come up!!, "sooooo lets give them what CANTON etc,, has" will get the rooks that might actually sweat a little this summer..

Hoodlum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

It seems that this week was a good one for city prosecutors... the question is, when is a 65% conviction rate something to brag on? Is that above the national average?

Maurice Bradbury said...

How good of a conviction rate that is I'm not sure-- but I don't think it's very good. The national average clearance rate (a suspect is arrested) is 63 percent for 2004.

I looked around and found the statewide murder conviction rate for California in 1999 was 83 percent, San Francisco' is 87 percent. The SAO of Jacksonville, Florida claims a 97 percent conviction rate. Michigan's SA claims a rate of "higher than 90 percent." And Japan's is higher than 99 percent, which is a little scary. But what does it all mean? A SA could have a very high rate just for only bringing "slam dunk" cases to trial. Or, if you have a population of jurors that are, say, very intimidated by criminals and think everything the State says is a lie, what can be done about that?

Unknown said...

Hopefully he will be in jail for the rest of his life. He killed my brother October 26, 2017. They found him guilty Yesterday