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.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.
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.
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."
The 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.