The 20-year-old companion of Sadiq Martin, who was killed last September during a police chase at Woodlawn Senior High School, was found guilty today in Catonsville District Court of helping to steal a car radio, amplifier and radar detector from an auto just before the chase began.
Judge John C. Coolahan placed Theron C. Hill, of the 5500 block Gwynn Oak Ave., on three years of supervised probation and assessed $600 in fines for theft and destruction of the car window and --board wiring.
Judge Coolahan said the case was "much worse than theft."
"Because of a stupid set of actions," he said, "I'm sure that two families are practically destroyed over this."
The judge said he was speaking of the Martin family and that of police officer Timothy Mitchem, who fired the fatal shots.
Judge Coolahan also ordered Mr. Hill to pay $300 in restitution within two weeks to the Woodlawn student whose car was damaged.
Probation was granted after Mr. Hill's attorney, Robert T. Durkin, said Mr. Hill had no criminal record, is in counseling and is employed. The defendant's mother and stepfather appeared in court with him. All of them refused to comment after the sentencing.
A statement of facts read in court said the incident began when a police officer saw the youths standing next to a car on the high school parking lot. The officer watched as Mr. Hill and another youth removed items from the car and carried them to a Dodge Raider nearby. When Mr. Martin, 19, joined his companions and entered the Dodge to leave, police tried to stop the vehicle, which Mr. Martin was driving. He sped away across the school campus, hit a police car and then tried to run up a hill to Gwynn Oak Avenue.
That's when Officer Mitchem fired the shots, one of which hit Mr. Martin in the chest.
A grand jury ruled the police action was justified.