N.Y. man enters Alford plea in '90 killing CENTRAL COUNTY -- Arnold * Broadneck * Severna Park * Crownsville * Millersville

November 19, 1992|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A 24-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y., man conceded yesterday that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him of the execution-style slaying of a Broadneck High School senior, killed almost two years ago during an argument with two drug dealers.

Eddie Rivers Jr., entered an Alford plea to second-degree murder in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court after a jury had been selected for his trial on first-degree murder charges in the death of Darryl Downs, 18, of the 300 block of Ternwing Drive, Arnold.

Richard Duden III, Rivers' attorney, said his client agreed to the plea, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years, because he could have faced a life sentence if convicted of first-degree murder.

Assistant State's Attorney Kathleen S. Rogers told the court yesterday that the prosecution's chief witness was an accomplice, Jamal Hayes, 19, also of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Hayes agreed to testify in exchange for the state accepting his guilty plea on charges of assault and battery on Dec. 18, 1991.

As a result of that plea agreement, he faces no more than four years in prison.

Police said they found Mr. Downs sprawled on the front lawn of a home in the 1800 block of Copeland St. in Bywater Mutual Homes, a cooperative housing project off Forest Drive, about 5 a.m. Dec. 20, 1990.

He died at Anne Arundel Medical Center less than an hour later.

Police said Mr. Downs, Rivers and Hayes had taken a cab to Copeland Street, where they got out. Two shots were fired, one of them striking Mr. Downs, police said. Hayes and Rivers left in the cab.

Hayes had been linked by police to a group of New York drug dealers working in Annapolis.

Ms. Rogers said Rivers was the trigger man, shooting Mr. Downs with a small-caliber handgun that never has been found.

She said the shooting was over a dispute about a gun that was missing from one of the Annapolis-area homes Rivers and other drug dealers had used to store weapons and drugs.

Judge H. Chester Goudy set sentencing for Jan. 20.

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