A Baltimore County man was convicted Thursday of offering an undercover state police investigator $1,500 to kill a woman who had accused him of rape.
Michael A. Bruno, 33, of Glen Arm was found guilty ofsolicitation to commit murder and obstruction of justice by a Harford Circuit Court jury of eight men and four women. He is to be sentenced on Sept. 23.
Bruno did not testify during the three-day trial.
Prosecutors charged that Bruno wanted the woman killed to prevent her from testifying against him in a rape trial. Bruno and two co-defendants had been charged with raping the woman.
Bruno entered a plea agreement onJuly 21 saying the state had enough evidence to convict him of first-degree rape. Circuit Judge Cypert O. Whitfill sentenced Bruno to life in prison, with all but 20 years suspended.
During last week's trial, two inmates at the county detention center testified that Brunowas asking other inmates if they knew of anyone who would kill the woman for him.
One of the inmates, who had worked as a prison informant for the state police, gave Bruno the name and telephone number of a state police corporal who had posed as a hired killer in previousinvestigations.
The prosecution presented the jury with a tape of a July 28, 1990, telephone conversation between Bruno and the investigator.
In the tape, Bruno asks the investigator to "jump" the rapevictim, a 25-year-old Essex woman. The term is a slang word for giving a person a lethal injection of cocaine, Assistant State's AttorneyMark W. Nelson said.
Bruno was the third of three men to stand trial in the alleged March 29, 1990, rape. The two other defendants were acquitted in separate trials in Circuit Court.