Catonsville man receives life term in fatal beating

January 21, 1994|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Staff Writer

A Catonsville man received a life sentence yesterday for the bludgeoning death of his brother last March, but his defense attorney said he already has a death sentence: AIDS.

Michael Eugene Hebron, 40, wept and asked to address his family, rather than the judge in Baltimore County Circuit Court. "Please forgive me," he pleaded.

Hebron, of the 100 block of Wesley Ave., said at his November trial that he was so drunk the night of March 26 that he didn't know he had killed his older brother -- or remember why.

When he summoned the police the next morning, they found 54-year-old Clifton L. "Pete" Hebron in his bedroom, beaten to death with a TV antenna, a videocassette recorder, a vase and a baseball bat. The jury convicted Michael Hebron of first-degree murder.

Asking for the life sentence, Assistant State's Attorney Susan H. Hazlett called the crime "a brutal ambush of a man who was sleeping in his bed that night." and said Hebron "knew what was going on that night." " Although Michael Hebron said the two had fought, she noted the victim wasn't wearing his artificial leg.

Assistant Public Defender Patricia L. Chappell said Hebron has developed acquired immune deficiency syndrome. She asked that the case be treated as second-degree, unpremeditated murder.

A sister read and gave a letter to Hebron on behalf of most of the family, saying, "None of us hates you. Hate is of no use to anyone. . . . Are we ashamed of you? Yes, because of the disgrace you brought to the family name."

Retiring Circuit Judge Leonard S. Jacobson said he wished his last day on the bench hadn't ended with "probably the most brutal, senseless homicide [over which] I've presided in my entire career."

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