A Baltimore County District Court judge today denied bail to two men charged with murdering Jane Frances Tyson, a 49-year-old teacher's aide from Catonsville who was shot at Westview Mall last week.
In denying bail to Wesley Eugene Baker and Gregory Lawrence, Judge Charles E. Foos III agreed with a prosecutor who noted the suspects' past records and serious charge against them.
Ann Brobst, assistant state's attorney, said that the possibility exists to seek the death penalty for the suspect who fired the fatal shot.
Baker, 33, of the 1300 block of Homestead St. in the Waverly section of Baltimore, and Lawrence, 34, of the first block of Cheviot Court, in Woodlawn near Westview Mall, are accused of shooting Tyson once in the head.
Tyson was shot last Thursday when two robbers grabbed her purse -- which contained $10 -- while she was sitting in her Buick on the parking lot of Westview Mall in southwest Baltimore County. Her 6-year-old grandson and 4-year-old granddaughter watched the shooting, police said.
Baker and Lawrence, both paroled in previous armed-robbery convictions, also face charges of robbery with a deadly weapon and use of a handgun in the commission of a felony. Both are being held at the county Detention Center.
Lawrence, with close-cropped hair and a mustache, dressed in Detention Center coveralls, stood quietly when Foos announced his decision. Baker waived his right to attend the hearing.
According to Susan G. Kaskie, a spokeswoman for the State Parole and Probation Department, Lawrence was sentenced to 20 years in prison in July 1977 for armed robbery. He was released Jan. 31, 1985, under a program that allows inmates to be paroled early if they complete certain educational and vocational requirements.
Baker, who was sentenced to 15 years for armed robbery in 1978, served almost 10 years of the 15-year sentence. He was paroled once in 1987, sent back to prison in 1989 on weapons and narcotics charges, then released in September 1990.
Kaskie said a warrant was issued in March for Baker's arrest after he twice failed to meet with his parole officer.
Yesterday, hundreds of mourners gathered in Catonsville to say goodbye to Tyson.
"She was like a jewel, a precious jewel," said the Rev. Lou Martin, of St. Lawrence Catholic Church, during yesterday's Christian Wake Service at the Leroy M. & Russell C. Witzke Funeral Home.
"She was a very special person who touched may lives in the community," said her husband, John N. Tyson, 47, pointing to the crowd. He said she was the perfect wife, mother and grandmother.
She was a teacher's aide who worked with disadvantaged children at Riverview Elementary School in southwest Baltimore County. She joined St. Lawrence Church in October, Martin said.
Besides her husband, Tyson is survived by her three daughters, Tamara Hunsinger, Karen Sulewski and Susan Miller; her parents, Martin and Jane Andree; her brother, Martin E. Andree; and five grandchildren.