Man Pleads Guilty To Murder

Hamilton's Prior Conviction For 1989 Slaying Was Overturned

April 05, 1992|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,Staff writer

A former Woodlawn man whose 1990 murder conviction in the death of an acquaintance was overturned on appeal, pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder in the case.

Vincent O. Hamilton, 32, will be sentenced June 1 by Circuit Judge Raymond J. Kane Jr. Hamilton pleaded guilty to the May 1989 murder of 23-year-old Catonsville resident Kelly J. Nance, whose body was discovered in Elkridge after he had been shot in the head and neck.

Hamilton's original conviction and sentence to life in prison wasoverturned by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals and a new trial was ordered because of errors made by the trial judge, Circuit Judge Cornelius F. Sybert Jr.

The appeals court said Sybert should have postponed the trial after prosecutors delayed in making evidence available to Hamilton's lawyer. Sybert also should have required prosecutors to release notes made by police officers who testified against Hamilton, and should not have admitted contested DNA tests on blood found in Hamilton's car, the court ruled.

Assistant State's Attorney Kate O'Donnell has recommended a 17-year jail sentence for the murdercharge to be served concurrently with a five-year sentence for illegal use of a handgun.

According to a statement of facts read beforeKane, Nance's body was discovered by teen-agers in a wooded area on Old Lawyer's Hill Road in Elkridge. The victim had been shot twice.

During the investigation, police seized Hamilton's car and found two drops of blood in the car interior, O'Donnell said.

DNA analysisof one blood sample revealed that the blood recovered in Hamilton's car matched a blood sample taken from Nance. The probability of another black male having the same DNA is one in eight million, O'Donnell said.

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