Moments after a District of Columbia jury pronounced Jerry S. Tyler guilty in the shopping-mall slaying of Jay Bias, brother of the late University of Maryland basketball star Len Bias, reporters asked Tyler's attorney, Victor A. Houldon, how his client was taking the verdict.
Without a trace of irony, the lawyer replied that Tyler's reaction "was like every other reaction he's had in this case. He's been a gentleman throughout, and a calm gentleman. And he's calm about this verdict."
The image of the calm killer who, despite his murderous act, presents himself as a "gentleman" may strike some as particularly incongruous. Certainly the Washington jurors thought so, or they wouldn't have convicted Tyler of first-degree murder, which requires the element of premeditation. (An accomplice was found guilty on the lesser charge of second-degree murder.)