Greenbelt man sentenced to 30 years for murder ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY

November 21, 1992|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A 21-year-old Greenbelt man was sentenced to 30 years in prison yesterday for killing a man in Maryland City during a dispute over an assault pistol.

Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Lawrence H. Rushworth sentenced Sean C. Cartee to a life term, suspending all but 30 years. He agreed to a defense request that Cartee be considered for treatment at the Patuxent Institution in Jessup.

Cartee admitted in Circuit Court Sept. 29 that he shot Kenneth M. Braxton, 26, of Beltsville 14 times in a wooded area near Maryland City on Feb. 17.

Judge Rushworth imposed the sentence after a 45-minute hearing in which a therapist testified that Cartee was rejected by his mother, ignored by an alcoholic father and sexually abused by a baby-sitter.

Dr. David Shapiro, a clinical psychologist from Pikesville, said that Cartee's parents were divorced when he was 2, that he suffered head injuries as a youngster that have left him brain damaged. He testified that Cartee experiences depression and has suicidal tendencies.

Assistant public defender Paul Hazelhurst said that at 11, Cartee's mother had him committed to a state psychiatric hospital because she couldn't control him. At 13, he went to live with an alcoholic father because his mother wouldn't take him back.

"He's needed help throughout his life and he never got it. He was raised in a very hostile environment with a lot of abuse," the psychologist said.

Mr. Hazelhurst asked for a 20-year sentence.

But assistant state's attorney Fred Paone recommended a 30-year term, arguing that the number of shots fired warranted a stiff sentence.

"This isn't an accident, this isn't self-defense, this is somebody who was shot until there was no question that he was dead," Mr. Paone said. "Your honor, this was an execution."

Police said Cartee drove with Braxton to the end of Red Clay Road to discuss the details of the sale of a MAC-10 assault pistol. Cartee told investigators he had given Braxton $600 for the gun, District Court charging documents said.

While they were talking, Braxton reached into his pants. Thinking Braxton was getting a gun, Cartee said he took out a 9mm pistol and shot him. When police found Braxton, he was unarmed.

Braxton had been convicted of drug charges in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court on Oct. 5, 1989, and sentenced to 18 months, according to court records. The jail term was suspended on the condition that he complete five years of probation.

He also was convicted of theft in Prince George's County and was cited for failing to report to his probation officer five months after the drug sentence was imposed in Anne Arundel County.

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