Pasadena man gets 18 years for pool hall shootout

April 25, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A 31-year-old Pasadena man was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison for shooting a patron in an Annapolis pool hall six times, in a hail of gunfire the judge compared to the St. Valentine's Day massacre.

Judge Lawrence H. Rushworth sentenced Tony M. Horne of the 7800 block of Willings Court after a two-hour hearing in which the defendant denied committing the crime and referred to his two children in the courtroom in an emotional plea for leniency.

"I want to make sure and see that my son and my daughter do not follow this miserable trail," he said.

Horne was convicted by a jury Nov. 5, 1992 of assault with intent tomurder, assault with intent to maim, and assault. In the Nov. 29, 1990 incident, he and two accomplices walked into Brown's pool hall, in the 200 block of Clay St., and opened fire. No one was killed.

Assistant State's Attorney John Robinson called Horne a "violent, violent man," who was the key player in the "Old West-style" shooting.

"He's the person who went into a pool hall with a machine gun, pulled it out and started firing," Mr. Robinson said. "I want to prevent any more Old West-style shootouts."

Judge Rushworth agreed, saying Horne's 11 criminal convictions, coupled with the "horrendous nature" of the offense, called for a significant prison term.

"This was something that was akin to the St. Valentine's Day massacre, short of the fact that the people didn't die," Judge Rushworth told Horne.

Horne's record includes convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, battery, assault, handgun charges, trespassing and resisting arrest.

When Horne asked to be put on probation, the judge said, "Mr. Horne, you've been on probation most of your adult life and it hasn't done any good."

Horne's Baltimore attorney, William Murphy, had asked for a new trial, arguing that the judge erred when he failed to instruct the jury on the specifics of first-degree murder. Mr. Murphy said jurors should have been provided such instructions to find Horne guilty of assault with intent to murder.

Judge Rushworth denied the motion.

Horne was arrested six days after the shooting when a witness, Tico Crawford of Annapolis, called police. He had seen Horne at a Shell Service Station on West Street wearing the same gold chain and crucifix he was wearing the night of the shooting.

Mr. Robinson said Horne was the trigger-man in the shooting, using a silver handgun to shoot Melvin Gatling of Annapolis three times in the back, twice in the ribs and once in the chest.

Horne's brother, Gregory D. Horne, 36, also of the 7800 block of Willings Court, was convicted by a jury on Oct. 18, 1991 of assault with intent to murder in the same incident. Another accomplice, Ernest Bonee, was convicted of battery.

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