Mccall Asks For Reduction Of Manslaughter Sentence

January 26, 1992|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff writer

A 32-year-old Union Bridge man serving 10 years in prison on manslaughter and battery charges in the stabbing death of a Finksburg man isseeking a reduction in his sentence this week.

Donald Allen McCall, of Main Street, is set to argue before a three-judge panel Tuesdayafternoon for a reduction in his sentence.

McCall also was charged with first- and second-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of 24-year-old Roger Lee Childers last Feb. 8. He was acquitted of the murder charges, but a Carroll Circuit Court jury convicted him of manslaughter and battery in July.

He was given a 10-year suspended sentence on the battery charge and a 10-year sentence on the manslaughter conviction in September by Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr.

On Tuesday afternoon, McCall's Westminster attorneys will argue for the sentence modification before Circuit Judges LukeK. Burns Jr. and Francis M. Arnold and District Judge Jo Ann Ellinghaus-Jones. The judges are not expected to render a decision Tuesday; most likely, they will issue a written ruling, a procedure that generally takes about a month.

"In light of the defendant's background,age and amenability to treatment, . . . it would be appropriate for the Court to modify and/or reduce the defendant's sentence," wrote defense attorneys J. Barry Hughes and David B. Weisgerber in a motion filed Dec. 18.

Hughes was not available for comment Friday afternoon, and Weisgerber declined to comment.

"The state obviously will strenuously object to any reduction in his sentence," said Assistant State's Attorney Kathi Hill, who was the prosecuting attorney in the case. "He has never performed well on probation, and there's no reasonwhy a court should give him less than the maximum sentence."

McCall, who was unemployed at the time of the stabbing, has been in stateprison since late August.

During the trial, McCall had argued that the stabbing was in self-defense. But by finding him guilty of manslaughter -- a killing without clear premeditation or malice -- the jury rejected that claim.

McCall had testified that Childers was theaggressor in the fatal fight and in an earlier confrontation betweenthe two men while they were shooting pool at E. J.'s bar in Union Bridge on Feb. 7.

The fight began when Childers and McCall disagreedover a rule during a pool game, testimony at the trial showed. McCall told the court that he thought the fight had ended when the men were asked to leave the bar.

But the fight began again shortly before2 a.m. Feb. 8, when Childers' girlfriend called McCall's apartment and spoke to McCall's wife. McCall testified that he answered the phone and could hear Childers shouting obscenities in the background and making death threats.

Shortly after, Childers and three other people arrived at McCall's apartment above the bar, where they began to shout obscenities and throw objects at the windows.

McCall followedhis wife down to the street in an attempt to protect her, testimony showed. The two men fought, and Childers was stabbed with McCall's knife, testimony revealed.

During the trial, Hill told the jury thatMcCall was embarrassed in the barroom fight and that he was out for revenge in the second scrape. She also told the jury that medical evidence showed Childers was not stabbed in the heat of the fight, as there were no injuries on his hands and arms to indicate that he tried to defend himself.

The killing was the first of five county homicides in 1991.

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