Trial begins in Columbia carjacking case

September 22, 1992|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer

Karen Shipp was getting out of her car near her Columbia home on a rainy, misty night in February when she was confronted by a man holding a handgun.

"He said, 'Give me your keys,' " Ms. Shipp said. "He had the gun held to my left side."

After handing over the keys, Ms. Shipp said she ran to her home in the 9500 block of Sea Shadow as the man drove off in her white 1985 BMW 318i.

Ms. Shipp was a victim of a carjacking -- a crime that grabbed national headlines when Pam Basu of Savage was dragged to her death by thieves who drove off in her car while her daughter was in the vehicle Sept. 8.

Ms. Shipp testified yesterday in the trial of a Prince George's County man accused of stealing her sedan Feb. 15. She is an office assistant at a Giant supermarket in the Owen Brown Village Center in Columbia.

Anthony Joyner, 22, of Laurel faces charges of armed robbery, theft and weapons counts in a trial that opened in Howard County Circuit Court.

"It's called robbery, but it's carjacking," Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Murtha told the jury of seven women and five men during his opening statement.

"It's something we don't expect in a suburban community," he said.

Mr. Joyner was arrested March 17 after Prince George's police spotted the BMW and traced it to Ms. Shipp, according to testimony. The car had a license plate for a 1982 Honda coupe owned by Mr. Joyner when police found it.

Thomas Martin, a Howard County detective, testified that a BMW owner's manual and cassette tapes that Ms. Shipp reported were in her car when it was stolen were found at Mr. Joyner's apartment in the 8200 block of Harvest Bend Lane.

While being interviewed by investigators, Mr. Joyner said a Washington acquaintance named "Mike" let him borrow the BMW a few days before he was arrested, Detective Martin said. Mr. Joyner did not give police a last name for the friend.

Testifying before Judge Dennis Sweeney, Ms. Shipp described the suspect as a black man between 16 and 21 years old with no facial hair, about 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighing about 130 pounds. He was wearing a black seaman's cap, sunglasses and a black jacket.

Ms. Shipp, who said she has received special training for identifying robbers as part of her job, told the jury that she looked at the assailant for about one second during the confrontation.

Defense attorney Joseph Gibson of Silver Spring compared the victim's description with those by police officers handling the case.

The officers testified that Mr. Joyner now looks the same as he did when he was arrested in March, including his mustache and goatee.

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