Career criminal gets 170 years for shooting 2 officers

October 30, 1990

A career criminal was sentenced yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court to 170 years in prison, the first 30 years to be served without parole, for attempted murder and handgun charges that resulted from a shootout in which two police officers were injured.

"This is purely a warehouse case," Assistant State's Attorney Gary Schenker said of Ellis R. Douglass. "If Mr. Douglass dies in prison, then I think society will be better off."

Douglass, 47, was arrested Jan. 26 in the 1200 block of North Collington Avenue when police noticed that he had a handgun. They took a .22-caliber pistol from him but didn't know he also had a .380-caliber pistol. Douglass pulled out his .380-caliber pistol and fired four shots, wounding two police officers.

Yesterday, Douglass, who conducted his own defense at his trial, said he was a victim and a businessman who was harassed because he was black. "I don't deny the fact that I've been in some trouble," he said. "But whatever happened to me, it was wrong."

Mr. Schenker scoffed at Douglass' assertions that he was a businessman, saying violent crime was the only business Douglass knew. Douglass' prior convictions include robberies in Virginia and Baltimore County in 1976 and a robbery in Baltimore in 1968. It is because of his prior record that he received the no-parole portion of his sentence.

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