Man sentenced to eight years in shooting death

March 30, 1994|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Sun Staff Writer

A 26-year-old Annapolis man was sentenced yesterday to eight years in prison in the shooting death last May of Vincent Jones, 20, of the 1100 block of Eastport Terrace in Annapolis after an argument at a party.

Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Bruce C. Williams ordered the sentence for Dimitri Troy Weston, of the 400 block of Oak Lawn Ave., who pleaded guilty to manslaughter Jan. 24. Judge Williams called the case an example of society's increasingly violent ways.

"It used to be people would have fights in playgrounds over these kinds of things. Unfortunately people don't have fights in playgrounds anymore. They shoot each other, or stab each other," he said.

Weston admitted that he shot Mr. Jones on May 9, 1993, after Mr. Jones and Weston's brother, James Weston, argued over a woman.

Assistant state's attorney Kathleen Rogers said the fight started when James Weston asked Mr. Jones' girlfriend to dance at a party at Mr. Jones' house.

Mr. Jones chased James Weston from the party and smashed the windshield of his car with a shovel, Ms. Rogers said.

James Weston telephoned his brother, who drove to the party, confronted Mr. Jones and shot him three times in the shoulder and once in the chest.

Ms. Rogers said she agreed to accept the manslaughter plea because numerous witnesses would have testified that the victim had a gun in his hand and was confronting the defendant at the time he was shot.

"A lot of things could have happened had this case gone to trial," Leslie Stein, Weston's lawyer, said during the hearing. "He could have easily been found guilty of first-degree murder. He could have easily been found not guilty of anything."

State sentencing guidelines recommended a sentence of four to nine years. Ms. Rogers asked for the 10-year maximum and Mr. Stein asked that his client be given probation.

'This case is just an . . . example of too many guns in the wrong hands," Mr. Stein said.

Weston told the judge that he was sorry for what he had done, and that it was completely out of character for him.

"Regardless of what happened, I'm not an animal, I'm not a killer and I'm not a murderer," he said.

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