Defendant's account is called 'very cold'

December 02, 1992|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,Staff Writer

Wait until you hear the tape, prosecutor Vickie L. Wash told a jury yesterday as Dontay Carter's accused accomplice in the kidnapping and murder of a Catonsville man went on trial in Baltimore Circuit Court.

The prosecutor was talking about a recording of 17-year-old Clarence Woodward's statement to police about the Feb. 11 abduction and beating death of Vitalis V. Pilius.

She told the jurors Mr. Woodward hardly sounds as if he was overwhelmed with compassion when describing the kidnapping and the search for a place to kill Mr. Pilius.

She noted that the defendant claims he got sick at the sight of Carter beating the man in the head with a metal pipe.

"I just ask you to listen to how this comes off on this tape when he explains it," the prosecutor told the jurors.

"He talks of the events of Feb. 11 like he was talking of the events of his day, what he ate, what he drank. Very nonchalant, very cold and very detached."

Mr. Woodward, of the 2400 block of E. Hoffman St., is charged XTC as an adult with first-degree murder, kidnapping, armed robbery, conspiracy and weapons violations.

Carter, 19, faces the prospect of life in prison with no chance for parole after being convicted two weeks ago on those charges.

If convicted, Mr. Woodward would face the same sentence, Ms. Wash said.

A jury of seven men and five women, along with six alternates, was seated yesterday to weigh the case against Mr. Woodward.

The panel was selected from a pool of more than 150 potential jurors, more than half of whom were excused because they said they would be influenced by extensive publicity surrounding Carter's trial or because the Woodward trial is expected to last at least two weeks, Ms. Wash said.

Carter may have been the brains behind the abduction and slaying of Mr. Pilius, but Mr. Woodward was a willing participant and an equally guilty murderer, Ms. Wash told the jury.

She said Mr. Woodward's fingerprint was found on a plastic bag at the murder scene, a burned-out East Baltimore rowhouse.

When it was his turn to address the jury, defense lawyer David Solomon made no mention of the facts of the case, stressing instead that jurors must set aside any bias against the defendant stemming from the viciousness of the crime.

Ms. Wash told the jurors that Mr. Pilius, 37, a father of four young children, was beaten, strangled and kicked down a flight of stairs and left to die.

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