Man convicted of trying to kill officer in drug raid sentenced to 21 years

November 30, 1993|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Staff Writer

An Annapolis man convicted of trying to kill a city police officer during a drug raid was sentenced yesterday to 21 years in prison.

But the lawyer for 21-year-old Darryl Lamonte Jones of the 300 block of Center St. said he intends to appeal the sentence handed down by Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Lawrence H. Rushworth.

"I believe his sentence was excessive," said Assistant Public Defender Keith Gross, who said he is considering asking a three-judge panel to review the prison term.

"There was no reason for him to shoot at the police except that he thought he was under attack by persons who were not the police," Mr. Gross said. Police were wearing commando gear during the Feb. 19 raid on the apartment at Washington and Clay streets.

But Assistant State's Attorney Fred Paone said he did not find the sentence too steep.

"Twenty-one years is a long time to spend behind bars in the prime of one's life," he said. "On the other hand, drug dealers sell death. Hethumbed his nose at public safety."

During Jones' trial in September, Mr. Paone said the defendant, who was carrying $3,200 when arrested, was a drug dealer out to protect his cash. No drugs were found in the raid.

Jones described himself as a former drug dealer who was unemployed, but could not explain the huge sums of cash he carried.

Judge Rushworth sentenced Jones to seven years to be served consecutively on the three most severe convictions: assault with intent to maim Cpl. James Doran, attempted second-degree murder of Sgt. Paul Gibbs and assault with intent to maim Officer Terry Shea. Three counts of assault and battery and one of assault with intent to maim were included in that.

Jones also was sentenced to five years for use of a handgun and two years for reckless endangerment, to be served concurrently.

Jones testified that he fired at police when they burst into a friend's apartment because he had been robbed twice and mistook them for thieves trying to rob him again.

Four officers who participated in the raid, all members of the Annapolis Special Emergency Team, testified that they repeatedly yelled "police" and "search warrant" as they crashed into the apartment with a battering ram.

They continued to yell as they ran through the four-room apartment, according to testimony.

The first officer through the apartment's rear door, Officer Shea, found a man in the kitchen and stepped toward him to search for weapons, according to testimony.

Sergeant Gibbs stepped by and ran down the central hallway, where he found a locked bedroom door. He forced it open and found Jones pointing a .22-caliber pistol at him, according to testimony.

The two men exchanged gunfire, with the officer getting off 16 shots from his 9 mm Beretta. The 20-year veteran later found a bullet lodged in the collar of his bulletproof vest.

Corporal Doran, who was with another suspect in a nearby bathroom, turned to help Sergeant Gibbs when the gunfire started and was shot in the abdomen and left leg.

Jones surrendered when Officer Shea ran at him using a bulletproof shield for cover. Jones had been shot in the arm.

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