Man, 19, pleads guilty to supplying deadly gun

March 29, 1994|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Sun Staff Writer

A 19-year-old Severn man admitted in Anne Arundel Circuit Court yesterday that he supplied the pistol that killed one of his neighbors during a fight in April.

Paul Eugene Turner of the 8600 block of Pioneer Drive pleaded guilty to illegally carrying a handgun and reckless endangerment in connection with the shooting of Robert Lee Hall Jr., 21, in the 1800 block of Richfield Drive.

Turner could be imprisoned for up to eight years when he is sentenced May 11 by Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr.

Assistant State's Attorney Fred Paone said he agreed to accept the guilty plea based on testimony from witnesses two months ago in the murder trial of Raymond Sommerville, 21, Turner's co-defendant.

In exchange for his plea, charges of first-degree murder against Turner were dropped.

Witnesses in Sommerville's trial testified that Sommerville and Mr. Hall got into a fistfight on April 7 after a pickup basketball game near the victim's home.

Mr. Hall got Sommerville in a headlock but released him when Turner put a pistol to Mr. Hall's head and ordered him to let go, Mr. Paone said.

Turner walked away, but Sommerville, still angry at being beaten, grabbed the gun, taunted Mr. Hall and shot him in the head as he tried to run away, Mr. Paone said.

Turner "never intended to physically use the gun himself. He may not even have known it was loaded," Mr. Paone said yesterday.

Sommerville of the 1000 block of Brightleaf Court, Arnold, was convicted by a jury Jan. 7 of second-degree murder. The former Meade High School basketball player was sentenced March 1 by Judge Eugene M. Lerner to 15 years in prison.

Assistant Public Defender Keith Gross said yesterday that state sentencing guidelines recommend that Turner's sentence be limited to a maximum of four years.

He said that the incident was Turner's first criminal conviction and that his plea to the two lesser charges helps establish a "separateness of conduct" between Turner's mere possession of the pistol and Sommerville's shooting Mr. Hall.

But the victim's father, Robert Lee Hall Sr., was angered yesterday by the prospect of Turner being given a light sentence for conduct that contributed to the death of his only child.

"My son's dead and in his grave, and he [Turner] walks out of the lTC courtroom like he doesn't have a care in the world. It's ridiculous, it's ridiculous," said Mr. Hall, chief custodian at the Calvert County schools.

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