High court won't spare killer of five

April 07, 1992|By Lyle Denniston | Lyle Denniston,Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON -- The Supreme Court voted yesterday to leave intact the two death sentences, four life prison terms, and extra 120 years in prison given a Prince George's County man convicted of killing five people in drug-related shootings in Landover.

Ian George Constantine Henry was convicted of 17 different crimes, including five counts of murder, for the gangland-style executions of five individuals at the Village of the Woods apartment complex in Landover on Jan. 22, 1988.

Among those slain was Leonard "Chief" Francis, who allegedly headed a drug-dealing operation. Prosecutors said that the killings were the result of disputes among the drug traffickers.

Besides being convicted of murder, Henry was found guilty of attempted murder, assault with intent to kill, robbery, theft, and illegal use of a handgun.

Charmane Chambers, a woman who was shot twice in the head, but survived, testified that Henry went through the apartment rooms killing people one at a time.

After the shootings, Henry fled, and ultimately was arrested in New York, three months later.

The Maryland Court of Appeals upheld his conviction and sentences in October, rejecting -- among other claims -- the two issues he sought to appeal to the Supreme Court: his exclusion from some of the trial conferences at the bench between lawyers and the judge, and the sequence of his sentencing.

The Supreme Court made no comment in refusing to hear Henry's appeal.

In a second order yesterday, the court refused to speed up its handling of an appeal testing the constitutionality of Maryland's new congressional district lines.

Anne Arundel Republican and Democratic Party leaders and voters wanted the court to put their appeal on a fast track, but the justices declined, without explanation.

The action almost surely means that no final action on that case is likely until late this year, at the earliest.

A special three-judge U.S. District Court in Baltimore upheld the new districting plan in December.

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