TOWSON — A Baltimore County jury found a Carroll man guilty of second-degree murder in the death of a security guard at St. Timothy's School.
It took the jury five hours Thursday to find Harvey Allen Teets Jr. guilty of killing Kimberly R. Kenna, 23. Kenna's bludgeoned body was found in February in a pond 20 yards from the guard house at which she worked.
Assistant Public Defender Patricia L. Chappell, asked for a delayin sentencing to allow her time to prepare psychological evidence onthe 28-year-old groundskeeper, who also worked at the Baltimore County private school. The Manchester man faces a maximum 30-year prison sentence.
The prosecution's case centered on bloodstains found on Teets' work boots and a wooden club used in the attack. Prosecutors also presented testimony of a cellmate who gave a detailed account of the murder.
The cellmate, David Lotridge, 24, of Baltimore, said Teets told him he was angry at females because of problems with his wife. The cellmate said Teets said he became enraged after drinking whiskey and beer and smoking cocaine in Baltimore and at his hometown inManchester.
Lotridge said Teets told him he drove to the school, where he beat Ms. Kenna with a chair leg that he kept in his car as aclub.
The defense argued that the evidence against Teets was circumstantial and discounted Lotridge's testimony as someone looking fora deal. Lotridge testified in exchange for having unrelated assault charges reduced.
Kenna moved to the Baltimore area from her nativePittsburgh and began working at the school last September.
JUDGE ALLOWS CONFESSION
WESTMINSTER -- A Carroll Circuit judge decided lastweek that a man accused of arson and murder understood his actions when he confessed to police.
Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck concluded in an opinion Sept. 30 that John Woodward, 35, understood his Miranda rights when he told police he set a fatal fire April 24 in a West Main Street apartment building.
The April 24 blaze killed 49-year-old Carvin "Big Joe" Hanna, caused an estimated $100,000 damage to the building and left 12 people homeless.
Westminster attorney J. Barry Hughes argued during three days of testimony that the statements made by Woodward were involuntary and illegally obtained.
Hughes said the statements about the fire Woodward made May 15 to WestminsterPolice Detective Lt. Dean Brewer and Deputy State Fire Marshal FrankRauschenberg should not be allowed as evidence in court.
Hughes and the witnesses he presented portrayed Woodward as a mildly mentallyretarded man who often told people what he thought they wanted to hear.
The attorney also said that because of his client's mental deficiency, he could not understand his rights when they were read to him.
Deputy State's Attorney Edward Ulsch presented psychological and psychiatric experts who testified that while Woodward has some learning disabilities, he is not mentally retarded and had the capacity to understand his rights.
In his opinion, Beck wrote that while Woodward may not be the "brightest bulb on the tree," evidence showed heunderstood his rights when he gave his statements.
In the taped statements, Woodward said he set some papers on fire on the apartment building's porch to get "revenge" on Charles "Chicken Charlie" Ogline, a vagrant who often slept there on a couch.
But in court during the hearings on the statements, Woodward said he did not set papers afire, but ignited a smoke bomb and threw it near Ogline to make him move.
Ogline, who escaped the fire safely, originally was charged with setting the blaze, but the charges against him have been dropped.
Woodward's trial is scheduled for Oct. 21 in Carroll Circuit Court.
CIRCUIT DECISION UPHELD
The state Court of Special Appeals has upheld a sentence given by Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck in a drunken-driving case.
Louis George Kohler III appealed his case to the Court of Special Appeals claiming that an enhanced sentence Beck gave him as a third-time drunken-driving offender was illegal.
Beck sentenced Kohler to two years in prison and a $2,000 fine.
Kohler claimed the sentence was illegal because the state agreed to a plea agreement that was not followed by Beck.
The state had notified Kohler that it was going to prosecute him as a third-time offender, but thenwithdrew that plan when the plea agreement was worked out.
In itsopinion, the Court of Special Appeals said that both sides in the case understood that Beck was not bound to accept the plea agreement.
As long as notice had been appropriately given of the state's original intention to prosecute Kohler as a third offender, the sentence given by Beck was legal, the court wrote.
The opinion was handed down by the court in July but was published last week in the Daily Record, a business and legal newspaper in Baltimore.
MAN IS CHARGED IN THEFT
WESTMINSTER -- State police charged Steven A. Shawe Wednesday with one count each of theft under $300 and filing a false report.