Man sentenced to 8 years in prison in Linthicum gas station shooting

November 09, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A 19-year-old man was sentenced to eight years in prison yesterday for his role in a Linthicum gas station robbery last year in which the attendant was shot and left for dead.

Christopher Budde was sentenced by Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. after he pleaded guilty to robbery with a deadly weapon and being an accessory after the fact to assault with intent to murder.

Budde drove up to Frank's Exxon, just outside the Beltway in the 700 block of Nursery Road in a stolen car about 1 a.m. April 6, 1992, according to court records.

He parked at the pumps and an accomplice, Joseph L. Burr, 19, went into the station office.

Burr told the attendant, Charles R. Fox of Linthicum, that he wanted to buy cigarettes. As Mr. Fox turned to hand him the pack, Burr pulled out a .410-gauge shotgun and demanded cash.

Burr took about $70 from Mr. Fox, then fired one shot, striking the victim in the back and left leg, according to court records. As the car sped off, Mr. Fox dialed 911.

Mr. Fox later identified Burr from police mug shots, which led to the arrest of Budde, Burr and a third man, Richard W. Channell, 18, all of Baltimore.

After his arrest, Burr took police to Patapsco State Park in Howard County, where he told officers that the three men had tried to dump the stolen car into the Patapsco River, according to police.

In court yesterday, assistant public defender Paul Hazelhurst said that Budde's parents divorced when he was young. But, his problems didn't begin until he was kicked out of his mother's house by his stepfather at age 17.

"Christopher Budde went out and found the wrong people," Mr. Hazelhurst said.

On the night of the shooting, Budde agreed to drive his two friends around to look for a business to hold up because the two men were being sought by the police and they needed money to flee the state, Mr. Hazelhurst said.

Burr and Channell pleaded guilty Oct. 8 to assault with intent to murder and armed robbery in connection with the shooting.

Burr, who fired the shot, was sentenced by Judge Thieme to 12 years in prison. Channel, who handed him the gun, was sentenced to eight years.

Mr. Fox, 32, spent the week after he was shot at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

After he recovered, he went back to work only to be told by the owner that his job had been eliminated when the station had reduced its hours for security reasons.

Mr. Fox said he has since found work, earning about $5 an hour pumping gas at another station. But he said his new job is five miles from his home, forcing him to rely on a taxi or the generosity of friends.

In his new job at Kim's Texaco on Patapsco Road, Mr. Fox is shielded from the public by a Plexiglas booth.

"They say it's safer, but I don't know," he said. "I don't know if anybody's safe anymore."

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