3 plead guilty to assault and battery in brawl Annapolis man, 36, bled to death

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

Three men pleaded guilty yesterday in Circuit Court to assault and battery for their roles in a drunken brawl last December that left an Annapolis man dead.

Douglas Palmer, 31, of Silverwood Circle in Annapolis; Herbert Thomas, 47, of the 200 block of Croll Drive in Annapolis; and his brother, James Thomas, 28, of Marc Road in Millersville, pleaded guilty to taking part in a fight Dec. 18 at an apartment on Graff Court in Annapolis. They also pleaded guilty to breaking and entering.

Assistant State's Attorney Fred Paone said Palmer and Herbert Thomas left a party at Graff Court that night and went to the Ebb Tide, an Annapolis tavern.

Some time later, James Thomas joined them and said he had just been beaten up at the Graff Court party.

The three men, who were drunk, returned to the apartment, crashed their way through the locked front door and began beating up Troy Hammond, 32, and his friend James Pope, a 36-year-old maintenance man, Mr. Paone said.

Mr. Pope was pushed into a china cabinet with a glass front and cut his left arm near the biceps.

The cut severed Mr. Pope's brachial artery, according to a police report, and he bled to death within minutes -- before paramedics arrived and despite Mr. Hammond's attempts to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation, according to a police report.

Palmer and the Thomas brothers were initially charged with manslaughter by Annapolis police.

But Mr. Paone said he agreed to accept pleas to assault and battery because of conflicting accounts about the fight and what amounted to insufficient evidence to prove manslaughter.

Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. set sentencing for Oct. 22.

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