A Baltimore County Circuit Court judge today sentenced a Baltimore electrician to 40 years in prison for the April kidnapping and robbery of a young couple from Owings Mills.
The defendant, Ricardo Burks, pleaded guilty to the charges on Sept. 23.
Burks, 31, still faces a trial in Baltimore in the drug-related murder of four people last April.
Those slayings were unrelated to the April 21 kidnapping, in which Burks took Eric S. Cada and his girlfriend, Kimberly Goldscher, by force to Richmond, Va. He later returned with them to the Baltimore area before Howard County police arrested Burks and rescued the couple.
In court today, Burks told the judge he was sorry and he was willing to accept his punishment.
Burks, the father of five children, apologized to his victims and described himself as a "reasonable and rational person" who lost control in the aftermath of a cocaine binge.
"He had a great deal of potential," Judge Christian Kahl said of Burks. "But because of cocaine, primarily, he took that potential andtrashed it."
The case against Burks, formerly of the 400 block of S. Augusta Ave., stemmed from the abduction of Cada, 24, and Goldscher, 22, from the parking lot of Sinai Fitness Center in Owings Mills on April 21 at about 7 a.m.
Over the next 18 hours, Burks ordered the couple to withdraw $200 from a bank machine, then drove them to a hotel near Richmond,where they checked in using Cada's credit card.
Burks bought beer and wine with the thought of getting his victims drunk, then leaving them behind so he could escape. Instead, he drank the beer and wine himself as he drove back to Baltimore, where he again forced the frightened couple to rent a motel room, using Cada's credit card.
Through Cada's credit card, police tracked the kidnapper and his victims to the Terrace Motel on Washington Boulevard in Elkridge.
There, two Howard County police officers, who had spotted Cada's 1990 Jeep parked outside the motel room, burst through the door and caught Burks asleep, with the 9mm handgun in a shoulder holster. Cada and Goldscher, warned by Burks not to try to escape, were in another bed in the hotel room. They were vTC unharmed.
Burks still faces a trial in the killing of his brother-in-law, Marvin Odell Willis 3rd, 25, of the 400 block of Yale Ave. in Irvington; Derrick L. Newman, 19, and Newman's half-brother, Charles Jefferson Jr., 18, both of the 5800 block of Royal Oak Ave. in Woodlawn; and their cousin, Joseph Christopher Alston, 15.