Glen Burnie woman convicted of assault with intent to murder boyfriend Shooting occurred at house they shared

January 26, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A 24-year-old Glen Burnie woman was convicted of assault with intent to murder yesterday for shooting up the house she shared with her boyfriend, firing into it four times last May when he refused to let her get her clothes.

Sherry Ann Pappas was convicted by a jury of 10 women and two men after a two-day trial before Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Rushworth.

According to testimony, Pappas had gotten into a fight a few days before the May 8 shooting with her boyfriend, Michael M. Smith, 29, at the house they shared in the 6400 block of Colonial Knoll Road in Glen Burnie.

Police officers told Pappas that she had to leave the house because Mr. Smith had purchased it and it was in his name.

As she walked away, police ran a records check that showed she had an outstanding warrant. Pappas spent the next two days in the Prince George's County Detention Center, on a parole violation that later turned out to be a mistake, according to testimony.

When she was released from the jail, she called Mr. Smith several times asking when she could pick up her clothes. She made the last call about 2 a.m., when the two got into a shouting match and she said that she was coming over whether he intended to let her in or not.

Roger Loveless, a friend of Mr. Smith's, testified that he came over to the home because of threats Pappas made. The two men slept on the couch with a handgun between them, he said.

"She said she was coming over to kill Michael and then kill herself. Those were her exact words," Mr. Loveless testified.

On her way, she stopped off at an acquaintance's house in Severn, where she broke through a basement window and took a $700 .45-caliber semiautomatic Colt pistol. Once at Mr. Smith's house, police said she banged on the door and told Mr. Smith she was coming in.

She fired four shots into the house. All were fired into the first floor while Mr. Smith was in a second-floor bedroom, but one of the bullets passed over Mr. Loveless' head and smashed a bottle on a nearby table, sending glass into his back.

"I thought I had been shot," Mr. Loveless said.

The jury deliberated 3 1/2 hours before finding Ms. Pappas guilty of assault on Mr. Smith, but not guilty of attempted murder, breaking and entering and burglary. The jury also found her guilty of the attempted murder of Mr. Loveless.

Robert Waldman, Ms. Pappas' public defender, tried to portray his client as the victim of an abusive relationship and emphasized her position that she took the gun as protection and never intended to kill anyone.

"I never aimed the gun once, not the whole time," Ms. Pappas said. "I just wanted my clothes back."

But Assistant State's Attorney William C. Mulford II pointed out that someone could have been killed, that she broke into a house to steal the gun she used and that she had the motive and intent to harm Mr. Smith.

"This is more than a mistake; this is more than borrowing a gun. Think about how many times she shot into that house, and think about how many times she had the opportunity to turn around and go the other way," he said.

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