Chase man found guilty of rape, beating woman

April 02, 1994|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Sun Staff Writer

A Baltimore County jury convicted a 22-year-old Chase man yesterday of the rape and beating of a 27-year-old Chase woman who was found last May when she crawled out from a dead-end road where she had been run over after the attack.

Byron M. Stewart of Milden Court is to be sentenced May 24 -- the first anniversary of his arrest -- for attempted first-degree murder, first-degree rape, other sex offenses and false imprisonment.

A resident of the area found the victim on May 22 in the 1000 block of Hillpine Road near Martin State Airport. Stewart had beaten her with a stick and a mirror, breaking her jaw and knocking out four front teeth. She suffered a collapsed lung when she was run over.

Police initially arrested the wrong man after getting his name from the semi-coherent victim at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. But she later told them that she had meant to say that the man they arrested knew her assailant.

The mix-up was one reason Stewart's first trial ended with a hung jury in January.

This time, Judge Barbara Kerr Howe admitted as evidence color photographs of the woman's swollen face and the tire track across her chest. The judge had kept the photographs from the jury the first time on the basis they were potentially inflammatory.

In the second trial, Assistant State's Attorney Robin S. Coffin argued successfully that the jury needed the photos to understand the extent of the injuries and why the victim's initial statement was incoherent and confusing.

The victim recovered, although she bears scars and still undergoes treatment. She was asked to leave the courtroom yesterday when she wept during the closing argument of Assistant State's Attorney Angela White.

In her testimony, the victim said she first met Mr. Stewart that night and went with him to get cocaine. The attack followed without warning, she said.

Stewart also testified during the weeklong trial and denied attacking the woman.

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