2 college students guilty in homeless man's death

March 05, 1994|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Sun Staff Writer

An Anne Arundel Circuit judge convicted two Annapolis college students of manslaughter yesterday, calling the case a "sad commentary on our society" because they buried the body of their homeless victim, then partied together for the next two days.

Judge Robert H. Heller Jr. revoked the bail for Adam Schlossman, 21, and Theodore Reshetiloff, 22, and sent them to jail to await sentencing for their roles in the death in July 1992 of Arch Baldwin, an alcoholic Army veteran who frequented the woods behind Schlossman's house.

The two harassed their victim -- who was in a drunken stupor that night -- pouring beer and debris on him, pelting him with stones and urinating on him before they pushed him into a wooded gully, where they left him, according to testimony. One of the men also threw a cinder block at Mr. Baldwin.

When they found him dead the next day, they put his body on a sled and dragged it deeper into the woods, where they buried him in a shallow grave, breaking his legs so his body would fit in the hole.

A state medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, saying the 62-year-old had died of heart failure brought on by the stress of the harassment.

"How sad, on the same day that Mr. Baldwin was buried that these young people partied. And that on the day after, they partied," Judge Heller read from his decision.

Neither defendant showed any emotion when the verdict was announced. Later, Mr. Baldwin's daughter and Schlossman's mother both burst into tears.

"It's all right. Don't worry," Schlossman told his mother, Barbara Schlossman, as he was being handcuffed.

Nena Gonet, Mr. Baldwin's daughter who traveled from her home in Leicester, Mass., to attend the weeklong trial, would not comment on the verdict.

Mrs. Gonet, who criticized Deputy State's Attorney William Roessler for seeking manslaughter instead of murder convictions, met in the courthouse yesterday with two Washington lawyers to discuss the possibility of a civil suit against the defendants.

Mr. Roessler said he could not prove the two intended to kill Mr. Baldwin, a requirement for a murder conviction.

Both men, students at Anne Arundel Community College, could be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Sentencing is set for May 4.

Judge Heller found the two not guilty of assault with intent to maim. Although the evidence did not support the charge, "I believe you are probably as guilty as sin," he told Reshetiloff.

Two other defendants who are accused of assisting in the burial of the body, Willis Lewin Usilton, 22, of Easton and Christian M. Walton, 22, of Annapolis are to be tried March 17 on charges of being accessories after the fact to manslaughter.

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