Moments after a jury convicted him yesterday of robbing the Pikesville Holiday Inn, an alleged ringleader in a spate of shotgun robberies last winter vowed to escape from prison.
"I'm Muslim, so I really do not recognize this court," Tony Maurice Bedford told Baltimore County Circuit Judge James T. Smith Jr. after he was sentenced to life plus 40 years.
"I'm not going to stay in prison, because you do not have the power to hold me, the power to keep me," he said.
The jury took less than two hours to find Bedford, also known as Sadiyq Abdullah Muhammed, guilty of attempted murder, three counts of armed robbery and use of a handgun in the Feb. 28 robbery.
Judge Smith sentenced the 19-year-old Baltimore man shortly afterward.
Former Holiday Inn desk clerk Peggy Sue Gunter and managers Robert Bruce MacLennan and Robert McNeil testified that Bedford held a gun to Mrs. Gunter's head and threatened to kill them because they couldn't open the hotel safe.
As Bedford left with about $50 from the cash register, he fired a shot that passed through Mrs. Gunter's pocket and hit Mr. McNeil in the abdomen.
Bedford has been charged with two other robberies in Baltimore County and 14 in Baltimore.
Almost immediately after Bedford was sentenced yesterday afternoon, jury selection began in the next case against him, the Feb. 21 robbery of the Food Place in the 8500 block of Liberty Road.