2 men draw 18 months in homeless man's death

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

Two Annapolis men were sentenced in Anne Arundel Circuit Court yesterday to 18 months in jail for their roles in the death of a homeless alcoholic.

Judge Robert H. Heller Jr. sentenced Adam Schlossman, 22, and Theodore Reshetiloff, 22, for manslaughter in the July 1992 death of Arch Baldwin, a 62-year-old Army veteran and former heavy equipment operator.

The sentence came after a lengthy hearing that ended with the judge giving an hourlong explanation of his thoughts on the case and the sentence.

"I'd like to think that no one would walk out of here today and not feel emotionally drained," he said.

Judge Heller ordered both defendants to spend 18 months in the county jail, where they will be on work-release. They are then to serve five years of supervised probation: the first 2 1/2 years under house arrest, the remainder doing community service once a week, preferably in a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.

They also are prohibited from consuming any alcohol or tobacco products during their probationary period and must submit to random checks by state Parole and Probation agents, Judge Heller said.

The sentence brought a measure of relief to the defendants' parents. The pair had faced a maximum of 10 years in prison for their March 4 manslaughter convictions.

"I think it's very fair," said Barbara Schlossman, Adam Schlossman's mother. "I don't think it's going to be easy."

Mr. Baldwin's daughter, Nena Gonet, who traveled from her home in Leicester, Mass., to attend the sentencing, said the defendants were let off too lightly, considering what they had done.

"They aren't little boys here, they're murderers," said Mrs. Gonet, who cried when the sentence was announced last night.

Mr. Baldwin's widow, Ruby Baldwin, and his four children have filed a $30 million wrongful-death suit in Anne Arundel Circuit Court against the defendants. No trial date has been set.

The two harassed Mr. Baldwin, poured beer and debris on him, pelted him with stones and urinated on him before pushing him into a wooded gully. According to trial testimony, Reshetiloff threw part of a cinder block at Mr. Baldwin.

When Schlossman and Reshetiloff found Mr. Baldwin dead the next day, they put his body on a sled, dragged it deeper into the woods and buried him in a shallow grave. Schlossman broke Mr. Baldwin's legs so the body would fit into the hole.

A state medical examiner ruled the death a homicide, saying Mr. Baldwin died of heart failure brought on by the stress of the harassment.

At yesterday's sentencing, William D. Roessler, deputy state's attorney, asked for a sentence that exceeded the state sentencing guidelines of two to seven years. He said neither defendant showed any remorse or shame.

During a break in the trial last March, Reshetiloff went so far as to wink at television cameras, said Mr. Roessler.

"The type of person who doesn't show any remorse is someone without a conscience, and people without consciences are dangerous people," he said.

Reshetiloff apologized yesterday. He said the wink had been intended as a signal to his parents to show he was all right.

"Whether I go to jail for 100 years, I will still have to live with this till the day I die," he said, near tears.

Two other defendants, Willis Lewin Usilton, 22, of Easton and Christian M. Walton, 22, of Annapolis, are accused of assisting in the burial. They are scheduled to plead guilty today to charges of being accessories after the fact to manslaughter. Mr. Roessler said he will recommend that they be sentenced to six months in jail.

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