Briscoe guilty in Columbia woman's death

January 24, 1992|By Jackie Powder

A Howard County jury convicted Kevin Michael Briscoe of felony murder yesterday in the April 1990 slaying of a 44-year-old woman in her Columbia town house.

Pamela Mary Barker, a program analyst with the Health Care Financing Administration, was found stabbed to death in the bedroom of her ransacked home in Columbia's Stevens Forest neighborhood. Briscoe and two other men were charged. Assistant State's Attorney Christine Gage relied on a paper trail of bank records and credit-card receipts to prove the case.

Ms. Gage theorized that Briscoe, 26, killed Ms. Barker April 23, 1990, in the course of a robbery in which he stole her MasterCard and VISA credit cards.

The jury also convicted Briscoe of robbery with a deadly weapon, burglary and theft. He is to be sentenced March 31.

Brian Jordan, 24, charged with felony murder as a co-defendant, is scheduled for trial Feb. 24. Temesgen Melaku, 22, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, in exchange for testifying against Briscoe and Jordan and a maximum sentence of 15 years.

Melaku testified that he drove Briscoe and Jordan to Ms. Barker's house, where they intended to commit a robbery, and afterward drove to an automated-teller machine in Oakland Mills Village Center.

Bank representatives testified that by April 23, $3,300 in cash had been withdrawn from teller machines in the Oakland Mills area using Barker's VISA card.

The defense maintained there was no proof Briscoe was involved in the murder.

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