A Baltimore County Circuit Court judge handed down a maximum 30-year sentence yesterday to Harvey Allen Teets Jr., saying he wished the man's prison cell could be papered with photographs of the battered body of a St. Timothy's School security guard.
Teets, a 29-year-old groundskeeper at the school, was found guilty Oct. 3 of the second-degree murder of Kimberly R. Kenna, 23.
Ms. Kenna was killed while she was on duty in her guard shack at the private school on Greenspring Avenue in Stevenson last Feb. 22.
Since the conviction, Assistant State's Attorney Stephen Bailey said Teets has told pre-sentence investigators that he had intended to sexually assault Ms. Kenna that night, when he surprised her and beat her to death with a wooden club, then dumped her half-clothed body in a nearby pond. Teets' statement shows premeditation, despite the jury's verdict, Mr. Bailey said.
Assistant Public Defender Wendy A. Zerwitz also cited pre-sentence evaluations to tell the judge that Teets, known as J.R., is of borderline intelligence, has a confused sexual identity and a drug problem that began with using marijuana when he was 15.
The prosecutor said he hoped that Teets served "every day of 30 years" and was making a record for the parole board, read an excerpts from a letter by Ms. Kenna's fiance about his loss and said he had contemplated suicide to be with her again.
Teets told the judge, "I do have a drug problem. When I get out on my own and I get money in my pocket . . . I go look for drugs, hang out in bars . . . and when there's drugs in me I do crazy things. I'm deeply sorry. . . . I wish I was somewhere else when it happened. I wish it was me instead of her. I'm -- I'm sorry. That's all I can say."
Judge Albert L. Brennan Sr. was unmoved, telling Teets angrily, "If I could make it a condition of the sentence that you have your cell papered with State's Exhibit 11, the photographs . . . and let you see them for the rest of your days in prison, I would like to do that. What you did that night was horrible. It was animalistic -- and I don't want you out on the streets."
The judge and the prosecutor questioned the jury's verdict, which rejected the first-degree murder charge that carries a maximum life sentence, in favor of second-degree, or unpremeditated, murder.