There is no way Bea Gaddy is going to allow a convicted killer to work in her East Baltimore soup kitchen.
"I believe in capital punishment," said Ms. Gaddy, 53, who has been feeding the poor and homeless from her Collington Avenue kitchen about 10 years. "If you take a life, than your life should be taken from you."
Ms. Gaddy said she was shocked when reporters called her yesterday and told her about her new employee: Shonte Davenport, 21. Davenport pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the stabbing death of Andrea Maddox, 21, on Dec. 26.
In a plea agreement, Judge Kenneth Lavon Johnson sentenced Davenport to 20 years Friday but suspended the sentence. In lieu of jail, he ordered her to perform 10 hours of community service a week for three years in Ms. Gaddy's kitchen.
"I felt like a fool when I heard that," Ms. Gaddy said. "No one told me. I will not accept her. We should have a choice about who we accept here."
Ms. Gaddy said that although she has several juveniles working off their crimes at her soup kitchen, she has never had a murderer and is afraid to accept someone who has proved to have a violent temper.
"We have people here standing in line to get food who can get mean," she said. "We don't need people here with bad tempers. It could trigger things."
According to court records, Davenport was visiting a friend at his apartment on Dec. 26, when Ms. Maddox and the man's former girlfriend came over. The man and his former girlfriend got into an argument outside the apartment. Ms. Maddox and the former jTC girlfriend began kicking and denting Davenport's new Hyundai car, prosecutors said, prompting Davenport to grab a kitchen knife.
A fight began when Ms. Maddox confronted Davenport, and Ms. Maddox was stabbed three times. Davenport's attorney said his client did not intend to kill anyone, but took the knife to scare the women.
"I'd be scared to death that the woman would act out again," Ms. Gaddy said. "It would be a very bad risk and a bad judgment to accept her." Ms. Gaddy criticized Judge Johnson for his decision and said there seems to be an attitude that she'll take just anyone.
"I'm in the ghetto and a poor woman," she said. "They passed up all those other places downtown and just sent her here figuring we wouldn't make any noise. I'm hurt by that attitude."