Man sentenced to 7 years in shooting melee

July 26, 1992|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

An 18-year-old Annapolis man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for shooting a man in the groin during a fight last December, then using a woman as a shield as he was being beaten by the victim's friends.

Ralph E. Simms, of the 700 block of Bay Ridge Avenue, was sentenced Friday in Circuit Court to seven years for assault with intent to maim for the shooting and three years for carrying a handgun, the two sentences to run concurrently. He received five more concurrent years for reckless endangerment and two concurrent years for cocaine possession.

Simms was also sentenced to two concurrent years for distribution of crack cocaine. That charge stemmed from a Dec. 6, 1991, arrest.

In the early morning of Dec. 21, 1991, Simms was losing a fight with several men in the Robinwood public housing complex when he pulled out a gun and shot one of them, Leon Surgeon, in the groin.

Two of Mr. Surgeon's friends -- William R. Savoy Jr., 26, of the unit block of Monument Street, and Benjamin D. Kirby Jr., 19, of the 100 block of Rosecroft Drive, both in Annapolis -- chased Simms from the project into the adjacent Annapolis Overlook condominium complex.

Simms took refuge in the homes of two families while Savoy and Kirby began smashing windows with an ax.

At one point, Simms took refuge in the home of Ellen Bump. Simms grabbed Ms. Bump and, holding a gun to her back, used her as a shield while Savoy, armed with a piece of wood, began swinging at Simms, hitting Ms. Bump in the process.

Kirby and Savoy pleaded guilty on Wednesday to burglary and malicious destruction.

Their sentencing is set for Aug. 28.

As a part of plea negotiations, Savoy, Kirby and Simms will pay $5,000 restitution to the victims.

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