Kolodner gets 3 months for attempted contract murder Man tried to have arcade owner killed over gambling debt

May 24, 1992|By Darren M. Allen | Darren M. Allen,Staff Writer

WESTMINSTER -- Take one look at Barry Kolodner and it's clear he doesn't fit the mob-boss image of someone usually associated with contract-murder attempts.

The short, slight 30-year-old was in court last week to be sentenced on one count of solicitation to commit murder, a charge to which he pleaded guilty last December.

Dressed conservatively in a slightly oversized tweed jacket, a pair of dark khaki pants and slightly worn dock shoes, Kolodner glanced furtively at his attorney, Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. and his mother.

"I view him as a really pathetic and weak individual," Burns said to Kolodner's attorney before handing down a seven-year sentence that he reduced to three months in the Carroll County Detention Center.

"I do not intend to put him in the Department of Corrections, because I'm not sure he would make it out of there alive," the judge said.

Thursday's much-delayed sentencing -- Kolodner had been granted three postponements -- focused on the Baltimore man's inability to differentiate between reality and fantasy, and how that landed him in court.

"I can tell the court that his life is a really pathetic set of circumstances," said Ronald Kurland, Kolodner's attorney. "His body may be 30 years of age, but his mind is more like 15. His mother takes care of his finances, she does his cleaning, she makes his bed. Aggressive acts with him may exist more in fantasy than in reality."

The fantasy, Kurland said, was to pay someone $1,500 to kill Michael Blickman, a Baltimore man to whom Kolodner owed more than $8,000 in gambling debts.

The reality, however, was that Kolodner made his offer to an undercover Carroll state trooper.

"I am very sorry for what I did," Kolodner told Burns. "I never meant to get anybody hurt. I was just blowing off steam."

Court records show that Kolodner owed Blickman money he had lost on a gambling machine in Blickman's Baltimore arcade. Blickman had pressured Kolodner to pay up.

Instead of paying the money, Kolodner said he would give Blickman an illegal satellite decoder that would allow him to broadcast live horse races in his arcade.

Kolodner had been charged in Baltimore with selling the decoders and was scheduled to go to jail for six months for violating his probation by selling them again.

When Kolodner pleaded guilty in December, the State's Attorney's Office agreed to ask for no more than 18 months in jail. On Thursday, Kurland asked Burns to impose at least five years in state prison, but to suspend it and order Kolodner to spend weekends in the Carroll County Detention Center and to undergo five years of counseling and probation.

"I want to give him an opportunity to pay a certain debt back to society," Kurland said. "Whether or not he was serious, the offense was serious."

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