Prosecutor to seek death penalty in carjacking HOWARD COUNTY

January 29, 1993|By Staff Report

Howard County State's Attorney William R. Hymes intends to seek a sentence of death if a Washington man accused in the carjacking murder of a Savage woman is convicted.

Mr. Hymes filed court papers Jan. 22 notifying Rodney Eugene Soloman, 26, of the 5900 block of E. Capitol St. in Washington, that the prosecution will seek his death if he is convicted of the Sept. 8 murder of Pam Basu.

Dr. Basu, a chemist at W. R. Grace & Co. in Columbia, was killed when she was dragged nearly two miles by two abductors who sped away in her car with her 22-month-old daughter inside.

Dr. Basu was taking the child to her first day of preschool. She became entangled in the seat belt on the driver's side of the car after she was forced from behind the wheel at a stop sign near her home in the 9600 block of Horsham Drive.

Mr. Soloman and 17-year-old Bernard Eric Miller, also of Washington, were arrested later that day and will be tried separately.

The prosecution notified Mr. Miller Nov. 17 that it will seek a sentence of life without parole if he is convicted.

The state cannot seek a death sentence for a juvenile.

When filing notice of a request for the death sentence, prosecutors must indicate which "aggravating circumstances" allow such a penalty.

The circumstances in Mr. Soloman's case, court documents said, were that "Pamela Basu was taken or attempted to be taken in the course of kidnapping or abduction or an attempt to kidnap or abduct," and that "Rodney Soloman committed the murder of Pamela Basu while committing or attempting to commit a robbery."

Mr. Soloman is charged with first-degree murder, intrastate kidnapping of a minor, intrastate kidnapping of an adult, and two counts of general robbery.

Mr. Hymes said in an interview that it is his policy to seek the death penalty in every circumstance where it is allowed.

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