Slain nun's brother identifies her watch It was found in suspect's pocket when he was arrested

November 10, 1993|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,Staff Writer

Sister MaryAnn Glinka's brother testified in Baltimore Circuit Court yesterday that a wristwatch recovered from suspect Melvin Jones had belonged to the slain Franciscan nun.

Ernest J. Glinka's testimony came on the second day of Mr. Jones' trial as prosecutors continued to try to link the defendant to Sister MaryAnn and the Franciscan order's North Baltimore convent.

"Is this the watch you gave your sister for her 51st birthday?" prosecutor Timothy J. Doory asked, hold ing a watch that police said was taken from Mr. Jones' pants pocket when he was arrested two days after the slaying.

Mr. Glinka, 46, said the watch, decorated with the rings that symbolize the Olympics, was the one that he had given his sister in October 1992. Sgt. Roger Nolan, a homicide detective, testified that police took the watch to a funeral home where Sister MaryAnn's body lay. Sergeant Nolan said the watch fit the woman's wrist.

Also yesterday, testimony showed that a thumbprint lifted from the cellophane enclosing a box of candy in a ransacked office at the convent came from Mr. Jones. A nun testified that the candy had been delivered as a gift less than a week before the slaying.

Sister MaryAnn's body was discovered early March 19 in the order's motherhouse. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Mr. Jones, 34, who is charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape, burglary and robbery. Mr. Doory told the jury in his opening statement Monday that the nun had been sexually assaulted.

Prosecutors yesterday called nuns who live at the motherhouse to identify scarves used to bind and strangle Sister MaryAnn and a change purse that was stuffed into her mouth. The nuns said the items had been left in a convent cloakroom.

Mr. Doory said the state will rest its case today after calling a medical examiner and one other witness. He would not identify the other witness, but it seemed likely to be someone who would say that a phone number on a matchbook found at the scene was that of Mr. Jones' girlfriend, a claim made by Mr. Doory in his opening statement.

After yesterday's court session ended, Mr. Jones' lawyer, Phillip M. Sutley, said he will prove his client did not kill the nun.

"A watch doesn't mean anything if you got it someplace other than the convent," the lawyer said, adding that his client knew he was a suspect in the slaying and would not have kept the watch if he knew it belonged to Sister MaryAnn.

He said the evidence, such as the possibility that there were two points of exit from the convent, suggests that more than one person broke into the convent. "Now, what else [Mr. Jones] did, whether he was there that day is for the jury [to decide], but he didn't kill that lady."

Mr. Sutley said a decision has not been made on whether Mr. Jones will testify. The trial will not be in session tomorrow or Friday; the jury is expected to get the case Monday.

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