Man found guilty in mall slaying Woman was shot to death in front of her grandchildren.

October 25, 1991|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Evening Sun Staff

A Baltimore County Circuit Court jury last night found Gregory Lawrence guilty of murder in the fatal shooting and robbery June 6 of Jane Tyson, 49, in a Westview Mall parking lot in front of two of her grandchildren.

The jury deliberated for 6 1/2 hours.

Lawrence, 34, of Cheviot Court in Woodlawn, the driver of the getaway car in the robbery that netted $10, was convicted of first-degree murder, armed robbery and a handgun violation.

Judge James Smith, who agreed to a defense request for a presentence report, set sentencing for Jan. 12.

Lawrence testified yesterday that he did not know a robbery was planned and thought he was merely giving a friend a ride to the mall to buy blank video tapes. He said he did not know the accused gunman was carrying a gun that night.

Seeking to buttress his client's contention, defense attorney Harold Glaser, in his closing argument, took off his suit jacket and vest and shoved the .38-caliber handgun used to kill Tyson into his front pants pocket.

"I put this in and I have a bulge in my pocket," Glaser said. "Who's going to notice if they're not looking for it?"

But the jury was not convinced.

Wesley Baker, 33, the man accused of actually shooting Tyson, is to be tried later.

On June 6, Tyson, a teacher's aide, went to Westview Mall with her grandchildren, a boy, 6, and a girl, 4, to buy them shoes. About 8:30 p.m., as she was getting into her car on a rear parking lot, she was accosted by an armed man, robbed of $10 and fatally shot.

"You have a right to expect, as citizens of Baltimore County, that a 49-year-old woman can take her grandchildren shopping" without fear of attack, said State's Attorney Sandra A. O'Connor in her closing argument.

The state's chief witness was Scott Faust, who followed the getaway car, a Chevrolet S10 Blazer, took down the license number and gave it to police, leading to the arrests.

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