Bridges guilty of murdering businessman

November 19, 1993|By Marcia Myers | Marcia Myers,Staff Writer

A federal jury convicted John G. Bridges Jr. on Wednesday of the 1992 murder of Baltimore businessman J. Schuyler Alland in what prosecutors described as a a cold-blooded, premeditated plot to steal the victim's $70,000 BMW.

Bridges, 29, of Norfolk, Va., faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole when he is sentenced Jan. 20 by U.S. District Judge John R. Hargrove.

The case was tried in federal court in Baltimore because Mr. Alland was killed on the grounds of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, which is federal property.

The jury's verdict came one day after testimony from Bridges' accomplice, a 25-year-old Cockeysville man who said he was unaware Bridges had a gun or planned to harm Mr. Alland until he heard the shot that killed the executive.

Robert Patrick Gray, of the first block of Vintage Court in Cockeysville, testified that he and Bridges had plotted the theft of Mr. Alland's car for several weeks.

Gray was originally charged with premeditated murder, but he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of felony murder two weeks ago and agreed to testify against Bridges in a deal with prosecutors.

The two men abducted Mr. Alland, 34, outside his Laurel business, Sky Alland Research, on the evening of Feb. 18, 1992.

The men stopped about three miles away from the firm on Powdermill Road.

According to Gray's testimony, Bridges told the 34-year-old executive, "We're going to let you out right here.

"A few seconds after that I heard what I thought was a gunshot," Gray told jurors. "Then Mr. Bridges got in the back seat and said, 'Let's go.' "

Mr. Alland died after being shot once in the back of the neck at point-blank range. His body was left by the side of the road.

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