Friends and relatives of the late Marcus Maddox went to court yesterday looking for answers. They were hoping to hear 19-year-old MacArthur Rayman explain how and why he killed the Cape St. Claire teen-agerwho had, only hours earlier, helped bail him out of jail.
They heard Rayman tell a judge the fatal shooting was accidental, that he'd only tried to scare Maddox. They heard a lay minister marvel at the depth of Rayman's faith while urging the judge to strike Rayman's conviction for second-degree murder and place him on probation. They heard the judge say he would have liked to sentence Rayman to more than the 15-year cap offered in return for pleading guilty to second-degreemurder.
But Maddox's friends and relatives said they did not hear the true events of June 26, 1991, when Maddox, 19, died after being shot twice in the head and once in the chest.
"I really wanted to know, but after listening for a few minutes, I knew I wasn't going to hear the truth," said Elizabeth Avella, who said her son had been Maddox's best friend.
She called the shooting an "execution," adding, "Threeshots is no accident."
Monika Maddox, mother of the dead man, stood nearby, fighting back tears. "I'm very upset, very upset," she said. "I was so stupid for believing the boy, for bailing him out."
At a hearing in January, Assistant State's Attorney Ronald M. Naditch said that on June 25, 1991, Monika Maddox was contacted by another son, Quentin, who was serving a year in the Anne Arundel County Detention Center on drug charges. Naditch said Quentin Maddox asked his parents to bail out Rayman, who shared a cell with him and was being heldin lieu of $10,000 bond after being arrested on burglary charges.
The mother paid a bail bondsman $1,000 and, Naditch said, she and Marcus Maddox drove to the jail to pick Rayman up. When the mother got tired of waiting, Maddox drove her home, then returned to the detention center, where he met Rayman at 1 a.m. June 26, Naditch said.
From there, the two went to Quentin Maddox's home in Churchton where, Rayman told police, the two smoked marijuana and played a game that led to the shooting. Naditch said Rayman told police "he had shot Mr. Maddox as they ran through the house playing a Rambo-Hulk Hogan type of a game," but maintained it was an accident because he tripped coming down a set of stairs.
At yesterday's hearing, Rayman said that in return for the Maddox family bailing him out he was to "hook (Quentin Maddox) up with some drugs."
The Gambrills man said that after being bailed out, he and Marcus Maddox watched television and smoked marijuana. And then, he said, the two began arguing.
He said he grabbed a .22-caliber rifle Maddox had been holding. He said Maddox wasswinging a rail from a bed post at him. He said he was only trying to scare Maddox when he fired the gun.
"When I pulled the trigger, I wasn't even looking at him. I didn't have the idea the gun was pointed at him," Rayman said. He added that he went to a police station to retrieve belongings held since his arrest -- and, at the same time,to turn himself in for the shooting.
The notion that someone would turn himself in on suspicion of murder and expect to walk out with his belongings was ridiculed by both Naditch and Judge Lawrence H. Rushworth. Naditch accused Rayman of concocting one "cock-and-bull story" after another.
Robert H. Waldman, an assistant public defender representing Rayman, said his client was an adopted child of uncaringparents. He said the Gambrills man committed a series of burglaries last year to finance a trip to California to start a new life with his biological mother. In a letter from court files, Rayman wrote that he wanted to go to California to "start a new life away from drugs and crime."
Robert Oliveri, a lay minister who has counseled Rayman in the detention center since June, told the court that the jailed teen-ager is "one of the most faith-filled individuals I have ever had a chance to minister to in the detention center."
Rayman's religious faith is "astonishing in the questions he asks, the depth of knowledge and desire to be close to God," Oliveri said, adding that Raymanhas expressed a desire to work as a missionary.
Oliveri then stunned those in the courtroom by asking the judge to consider granting Rayman probation before judgment in Maddox's death.
Rushworth told Oliveri: "You lose all credibility when you ask for probation before judgment. The charge is murder."
Rushworth sentenced Rayman to 24 years in prison, with all but 15 suspended, for murder. He also sentenced him to 10-year and eight-year terms for unrelated burglaries of two side-by-side Pasadena houses, to 18 months for setting a fire that caused $170,000 in damage to the house during one of those burglaries, and to six months for unauthorized use of Maddox's car after the murder. The judge ordered all the sentences to be served concurrently.