Carter remains unrepentant at sentencing

June 09, 1993|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,Staff Writer

Before being sentenced yesterday to life in prison with no chance for parole -- plus another life term plus another 190 years -- a defiant Dontay Carter turned to widow Aldona Pilius to offer his views on race relations and crime in the city.

"Why is it special when a man is killed and he happens to be a white man?" asked Carter, the East Baltimore man convicted of killing Vitalis V. Pilius last year during a string of downtown kidnappings of middle-class white men. "I hate when people say, 'Why did you have to kill a white man?' -- like it's OK to kill a black man. This is the mind-set you set in black people.

"They know I've never killed anybody," Carter said of city prosecutors. "I'm not going to say I'm sorry, because I didn't do it."

Of Carter's 35-minute allocution in Baltimore Circuit Court, Mrs. Pilius said: "He talked on too long."

Carter's remarks came after Mrs. Pilius fought back tears while describing the travails of raising her four young children as a widow.

"I will go on and survive, and Vito will be remembered and loved as a caring human being. That is not how Dontay Carter will be remembered. He will be remembered as, and I quote, 'a monster, a most dangerous, diabolical, manipulative and savage killer,' and I will add he is totally amoral and evil personified.

"Do not allow Dontay Carter to be paroled, or to go on family leave or work release," Mrs. Pilius told the court. "Do not allow him to see the sun. Vito won't."

At one point, noticing Carter looking at his watch, Mrs. Pilius said, "You going somewhere, Mr. Carter?"

Daniel E. Ford, a physician who was kidnapped from the parking garage at Johns Hopkins Hospital, choked and left for dead in the trunk of his car, told the court yesterday that he can't even wrestle playfully with his 3-year-old son without thinking of how he almost died at Carter's hands.

Carter, 20, said he had not planned to speak during the hearing but could not let the victims' remarks go without a response.

Wearing an orange prison jump suit, Carter admitted to kidnapping jeweler Douglas R. Legenhausen, but seemed intent casting that crime and the resulting publicity in the context of 400 years of slavery.

"What's the media circus for? Because a black man had the audacity to come home [from prison] and do something to a white man," he said. Carter went on to say that putting him behind bars will not address the root causes of crime and to attack what he termed "cowardly black leaders" in Baltimore City. He talked of the disillusionment he felt as a youth coming to grips with his mother's miserable inner-city lifestyle.

He even complained that the 13th Amendment to the Constitution outlawed slavery but "the system" still enslaves black men by labeling them as criminals. He noted that some prison populations are 70 percent black.

Referring to his capture after his Jan. 18 escape from the Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse, Carter said, "I'd have rather died than be pulled out of that apartment and see black people clapping like the police did something good when I've never hurt a black man."

Before pronouncing sentence, Judge John N. Prevas said that blow to Carter's ego was likely as great a punishment as life in prison.

"I think that went right to the heart of his own myth structure and showed him he had thrown away his life on a delusion no one was able to follow except for the young men he was able to charm into following him."

Judge Prevas described Carter as "someone who sees himself as Moses and Eldridge Cleaver. All I see is Charles Manson and Ted Bundy." Referring to Carter's shopping spree with the slain Mr. Pilius' credit cards, the judge added, "You talk about yourself as a leader in a cause. All I see is a devil in a Gucci sweater who only thinks about himself and how you can manipulate your friends."

The judge later compared Carter to murdering dictators Pol Pot and Nicolae Ceausescu. Judge Prevas pointed to Carter's combative performance on the witness stand during his murder trial, where he taunted prosecutors and accused police of trying to frame him, as the point when doubts about his guilt were erased.

Judge Prevas said Carter cannot be fully rehabilitated but urged him to at least, decades from now, serve as a "wise old leader" in the prison system who can counsel younger inmates.

Finally, the judge said Carter should not blast Baltimore State's Attorney Stuart O. Simms, who has cited Carter's youth in explaining why prosecutors did not seek the death penalty.

"I think you ought to thank Mr. Simms for the gift of life, but I'm not sure you're going to enjoy it because it's going to be a long haul."

The judge then sentenced Carter to life without parole for the Pilius murder, and consecutive sentences of life for conspiring to kill Mr. Pilius, and another 190 years in the kidnapping and attempted murder of Dr. Ford and the kidnapping of Mr. Legenhausen and other charges in the Pilius abduction.

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