Reduced term denied for killer of armored-car guard

April 28, 1993|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Staff Writer

A Howard County judge denied yesterday a request for a reduced sentence from a man serving a life term for the murder of an armored-car guard.

Tyrone M. Colbert, 31, was sentenced to life plus 20 years after pleading guilty to the January 1989 robbery and slaying of Frederick John Cook, a 23-year veteran of Loomis Armored.

"This was a coldblooded murder," Howard Circuit Judge Raymond Kane Jr. said. "It would be totally inappropriate for me to reduce this sentence."

Colbert told the judge that he is not the person he was at the time of the slaying. Since he started serving his sentence at the Maryland House of Corrections in Baltimore, he has become involved in religious programs and renewed ties with his family.

"I'm a new person now," said Colbert, who lived in Columbia.

Robert Landolt, a Columbia attorney for Colbert, blamed his client's cocaine addiction for causing him to shoot Mr. Cook three times outside a Long Reach Village Center bank in Columbia on Jan. 11, 1989.

Colbert was suffering from withdrawal after not ingesting any cocaine on the day of the robbery, Mr. Landolt said.

Colbert, along with two co-defendants, grabbed a money bag containing $60,000 from a delivery cart outside the armored vehicle operated by Mr. Cook. The victim, a 58-year-old Middle River resident, died two days after the shooting.

Mr. Landolt did not ask the judge to set a specific sentence, only one that would permit his client to become eligible for parole.

Assistant State's Attorney Shirley Ripley said she strongly opposed any reduction in Colbert's sentence. She noted that Colbert and the co-defendants began plotting the robbery at least one month before carrying their plan out.

"This was a brutal crime," Ms. Ripley told the judge. "If anything, teach society through the sentence that justice must be done and he must pay the penalty for such a hideous crime."

Co-defendants Stephen A. Brock and Patricia Whitted were each given a 20-year sentence, with 15 years suspended, for pleading guilty to armed robbery in December 1990.

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