Farmers Bank defendant guilty of murder

March 11, 1993|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Staff Writer

A Baltimore County jury yesterday convicted Benjamin Franklin Boisseau Jr. of first-degree murder and other charges for his role in a Randallstown bank robbery last October that left two women dead and two others injured.

As the forewoman delivered the guilty verdicts, Boisseau, 23, stared mournfully at the judge, while the husband of one of the tellers murdered at the Farmers Bank & Trust Co. grasped the hand of the branch manager, Barbara Mitchell Aldrich.

Mrs. Aldrich, who survived the shootings to call for help, wiped from her eyes the tears she had held back Tuesday when she calmly described how Boisseau's companion methodically shot her and three other employees, one by one, as they lay helpless on the floor of the bank vault. The crime occurred about 2 p.m. last Oct. 26. The robbers took $5,863, which was recovered.

Dorothy Juanita Langmead, 44, and Anastasia "Stacy" George, 51, both tellers, died that day. Another teller, Cindy Ann Thomas, 21, was shot through the face, but survived.

Boisseau was convicted of first-degree murder, the attempted murders of Mrs. Aldrich and Ms. Thomas, of armed robbery of all four women, and of use of a deadly weapon, a Cobray semi-automatic pistol.

Michael Langmead Sr., Mrs. Langmead's husband, broke his silence and thanked the jury and the prosecutors, as did Mrs. Aldrich, 52, who played dead after the robbery and eventually called for help.

Boisseau, of the 3100 block of Clifton Avenue, will be sentenced May 6 by Judge Dana M. Levitz. He could face multiple life sentences.

He has been jailed since his arrest -- minutes after the robbery and shooting at the bank in the 9800 block of Liberty Road.

Louis Hill III, 25, of Rodgers Forge, the alleged trigger man, is scheduled for trial in May. The prosecution is seeking the death penalty.

Boisseau's jury of four men and eight women deliberated three hours before returning about 6 p.m.

Yesterday morning, the defendant testified earnestly, admitting almost everything. He said he was working for Mr. Hill's mother at the Spankin' Clean Inc., as a floor stripper and waxer, when Mr. Hill suggested they rob the bank.

A divorced father of two, Boisseau told the jurors his son's birthday was coming up the week of the robbery and that he was several months behind with his rent and utility bills.

His voice often dropped as he described the day, saying he "assumed we were getting ready to leave the vault, and I turned to the door, and that's when the shooting started."

"I was shocked," he told the jury. "I didn't know what was going on. I was terrified. I was scared, and I didn't want [Mr. Hill] to see that I was scared. I was afraid he was going to shoot me."

Under sharp cross-examination by Assistant State's Attorney S. Ann Brobst, he said he expected to be caught, although not so quickly, because he knew someone at the nearby gasoline station had seen them.

He only mumbled when the prosector demanded: "From the scene you saw in that vault, did you really think any of those women was able to crawl out and report an armed robbery and murder?"

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