Woman guilty in slaying

November 23, 1993|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Staff Writer

A Glen Burnie woman pleaded guilty in Anne Arundel Circuit Court yesterday to second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of an acquaintance, whom she believed had been abusing the son of a mutual friend.

Arletta Mary Moore, 29, admitted to Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. that she walked into the Millersville Inn May 31, pulled a .38-caliber handgun from her purse and fired four shots into Dawn Renee Meyers, 31, of Ferndale.

She told police that she felt as if she had just killed the four men in her life who had abused her.

"I kept thinking 'You won't hurt another baby,' " Moore told police.

Ms. Meyers died about three hours later at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

After the shooting, Moore walked out of the restaurant, dropped the gun in the parking lot and was picked up a few minutes later by county police as she walked along Route 3.

Moore could be sentenced to a maximum of 50 years on Feb. 11.

Assistant State's Attorney Eugene M. Whissel II told Judge Thieme that Moore stole the handgun from a friend and a month before the murder told another friend that she was going to kill someone.

He said that she told police she hadn't eaten in two days before the murder and had not slept well for the two weeks beforehand.

Mr. Whissel said that when Moore confronted Ms. Meyers that day in the restaurant kitchen where the victim was a cook she was angered by the victim's reaction.

Moore told police, "She [Ms. Meyers] just smirked like I couldn't do anything to her. I just shot her."

Answering the judge in a quiet voice, Moore showed no emotion as a statement detailing the murder was read into the court record.

But she burst into tears after being led in handcuffs from the courtroom by a guard from Clifton T. Perkins Hospital, where she is being held.

Assistant public defender Robert Waldman painted a picture of a tormented woman whose troubles started when she was a child and her parents divorced.

Moore shuttled between her parents and foster parents in different states and was abused by a stepfather, foster father and teacher. She was beginning to have memories of being abused by her grandfather.

Moore was treated in at least four mental hospitals over the years.

She gave up a baby for adoption one year before the murder and was undergoing psychiatric treatment. She was unemployed and living alone in a boarding house on Rose Avenue when she shot Ms. Meyers, Mr. Waldman said.

He said she is being held at Perkins because a court-ordered psychiatric evaluation determined that her urge to commit suicide, which surfaced when she was 14, remains.

The defense lawyer said Moore had reported to the state Department of Social Services that Ms. Meyers had been abusing the 6-year-old son of a friend. She was frustrated that nothing was being done and took matters into her own hands.

"She was abused by four people and she fired four shots. I don't think that was a coincidence," he said.

But Mr. Whissel said yesterday that the reports of child abuse were investigated and turned out to be unfounded.

He said he accepted a plea to second-degree murder because Moore's mental history would have made it difficult to prove there was premeditation and a specific intent to kill.

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