WESTMINSTER — A 23-year-old Howard County man who went on a 15-minute armed robbery spree in South Carroll last May will continue to serve the 10-year sentence imposed on him.
Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. last weekdenied a sentence reduction request by Wayne Edward Bell of West Friendship. In January, he was convicted of armed robbery, assault with intent to murder and use of a handgun in the commission of a felony and sentenced to 45 years, with all but 10 years suspended under termsof an agreement reached with the State's Attorney's Office in October.
At trial, defense attorney Judson K. Larrimore described Bell as a 10th-grade dropout and drug and alcohol addict who was in a "complete stupor" when he held up three gas stations near Sykesville with a 9mm handgun on May 27 and stole about $480 in cash.
Before last week's sentence reduction hearing, Bell wrote to Burns, saying, "I wantto let you know I think 10 years for the crime is more than fair. But as a person I feel I could return to society as a contributing member with a lighter sentence."
Bell drove a 1973 Mercury into the Gillis Corner Amoco Station on Sandusky Road in Sykesville about 2:30 a.m., pointed the silver semiautomatic at the station's attendant and ordered him to hand over his money.
About five minutes later, Bellpulled into the Mobil Gas Station at 1400 Liberty Road in Sykesvilleand pumped more than $12 worth of gasoline into the car. He then went into the store and brandished the same gun.
From there, Bell drove to Crown Gas at Routes 26 and 32, where he pumped about $1 worth of gas into the Mercury, then approached the attendant.
Bell was found about an hour later and attacked by Baltimore County K-9 unit dogs as he fled from his car into a wooded area.
In the letter to Burns, Bell blamed the spree on drugs and alcohol. "I never intended to hurt or rob any one. I did get wasted to have the nerve to use the gun (on myself) but not to rob anyone. My intentions from the start (were) to do myself in."
MYERS TRIAL TO BEGIN
WESTMINSTER -- The attempted murder, burglary and armed robbery trial of a Backwoods Road boy is expected to begin Tuesday in Circuit Court.
Earlier this month, Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. denied a motion by Brian Myers, 16, to have his case heard in juvenile court. "Part of growing up is being responsible for your actions," the judge told Myers. "The nature of these acts is horrendous."
State policehad charged Myers as an adult after two teen-agers had held the family of Arthur and Janis Lockard at gunpoint in July, stolen their car and led police on a high-speed chase.
A second youth was charged as a juvenile with armed robbery and burglary, and his case was handled by the juvenile court.
A state police cruiser was rammed by a stolen car driven by Myers, police said. The officer and Myers were treated and released from Carroll County General Hospital for minor injuries.
Myers has been free on bail since the July 28 incident. Since then, court records show, he has received extensive psychiatric care, and has improved his grades, decided on a career and improved the fractious relationship he has had with his father.
The charges carry with them a possibility of decades behind bars.
Here is a compilation of some of the activities in Carroll County courts:
Marcia Batzer: Probation before judgment, two years unsupervised probation, Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr., driving while intoxicated, March 17.
Michael Beahm: Probation before judgment, two years unsupervised probation, Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr., theft, March 16.
Richard Eyring Jr.: Probation before judgment, threeyears unsupervised probation, Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr., driving while intoxicated, speeding, March 18.
Christopher Gibson: Fourmonths Department of Corrections, Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr., escape, March 18.
William Hake: Probation before judgment, six months unsupervised probation, Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr., unlawful sale of a knife, March 17.