N.Y. man guilty in slaying of Rosedale drug dealer

July 22, 1993|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Staff Writer

A Baltimore County Circuit Court jury took an hour yesterday to convict a New York man of felony murder in the execution-style shooting of a Rosedale drug dealer on Dec. 23, 1991.

Presentaci Cartajena, a 21-year-old Puerto Rican native who moved to Brooklyn several years ago, is to be sentenced Aug. 3 by Judge J. Norris Byrnes. The maximum sentence for felony murder is life in prison.

The jury found Cartajena not guilty of first-degree premeditated murder in the death of 28-year-old Robert "Trini" Collins. The victim was bound, beaten and shot after four men ransacked his townhouse in the 6000 block of Lynette Road, in the Garden Village Apartments, demanding cash, drugs and guns.

The jury also convicted Cartajena of a handgun charge, and of robbery and assault on both Bonnie Green, 25, who had moved into the townhouse with Mr. Collins the night before, and her cousin Eric Green, who disappeared after the attack.

Ms. Green, now living in an undisclosed location, testified Tuesday that she knew three of the men who entered the home that afternoon and identified Cartajena as the fourth man from police photographs. But it wasn't until last month -- 1 1/2 years after the crime -- that she said Cartajena was the man who fired a shot into Mr. Collins' head as she lay on the basement floor 5 feet away, peeking through a knit sweater that the assailants had placed over her head.

In his closing argument, Assistant Public Defender A. Stewart Lyons suggested that Ms. Green was afraid to name as the killer any of the three men whom she knew.

Assistant State's Attorney David P. Lunden said Cartajena was arrested in New York in March 1992 but escaped while he was being booked. He was recaptured that June.

Also charged in the case are Michael Dawkins, 23, of Brooklyn, who is in custody there; Edwin "Cachaco" Pile, 20, formerly of Woodyear St. in Baltimore, who has a trial date in August, and Sean "Trini" Sanford, 20, formerly of the 3500 block of Reisterstown Road, who is at large.

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