Teen pleads guilty to robbery that ended in officer's shooting

April 09, 1994|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Sun Staff Writer

A 17-year-old girl with no criminal record pleaded guilty yesterday to robbing an Essex man while posing as a prostitute on Pulaski Highway -- a crime that led to the near-fatal shooting of a Baltimore County police officer on Halloween.

Heather Lynn Kendall, of the 700 block of Aldworth Ave., answered, "Yes, ma'am," as Baltimore County Circuit Judge Barbara Kerr Howe explained her rights at length.

Baltimore County K-9 Officer James E. Beck, 40, of Hampstead, spent 2 1/2 months at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center after he was wounded by the driver of the pickup in which Kendall was riding. The officer returned home last month to continue outpatient therapy.

Assistant State's Attorney James O'Conor Gentry Jr. said he will seek concurrent five-year sentences April 18 for her guilty pleas to robbery with a deadly weapon and use of a handgun in a crime of violence. The five-year term is mandatory for the handgun charge.

The alleged gunman and driver of the pickup, Mark Phillip French, 29, of the 300 block of George Ave., Essex, is scheduled for trial Monday on charges of attempted murder, robbery, two weapons offenses and an Oct. 30 burglary in Essex that netted 11 weapons.

All of the weapons were recovered, including a 9mm Glock automatic used to shoot Officer Beck and a silver .22-caliber semiautomatic that Kendall used to rob the man who picked her up, according to the agreed statement of facts.

Mr. Gentry said the robbery victim, Brian Sherry of Essex, told police he picked up a young hitch-hiker at 3 a.m. Oct. 31 on eastbound Pulaski Highway. She directed Mr. Sherry to the parking lot of the Chesaco United Methodist Church, where she pulled a gun, robbed him of $43 and fled in a brown pickup truck that had been tailing them.

Shortly after police broadcast a bulletin about the robbery, Officer Beck spotted the pickup in the 8500 block of Pulaski Highway and pulled it over. As he approached on foot, the driver fired repeatedly, striking him twice in the chest and once in the shoulder, the prosecutor said.

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