2 admit role in death of homeless alcoholic

May 06, 1994|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Sun Staff Writer

Two men admitted yesterday in Anne Arundel Circuit Court that they helped bury a homeless alcoholic who died of a heart attack after their friends harassed him.

In separate hearings, Willis Lewin Usilton, 22, of Easton and Christian M. Walton, 22, of Annapolis pleaded guilty to charges of being accessories after the fact in the July 1992 manslaughter of Arch Baldwin, 62.

Both told Judge Robert H. Heller Jr. that they took part in the burial to cover up evidence that Mr. Baldwin had been killed. Usilton helped bury the body, while Walton acted as a lookout, said Deputy State's Attorney William D. Roessler.

The guilty pleas are conditional and could be voided. The men are scheduled to be sentenced next month by Judge Heller, who could send them to jail for six months. He could let them serve their time on weekends, on work-release or under house arrest, said Mr. Roessler. Judge Heller also could scuttle the plans.

Yesterday he said he would accept the guilty pleas and agree to sentencing terms only if he found them reasonable after reviewing the presentence reports.

"Only if I find I can, in good conscience, live with this arrangement, will I bind myself," he said.

If Judge Heller rejects the plea agreements, another deal could be worked out, the cases could be tried before a different Circuit Court judge or the charges could be dismissed, Mr. Roessler said.

Adam Schlossman, 22, and Theodore Reshetiloff, 22, both of Annapolis, were convicted of manslaughter March 4 and sentenced Wednesday to 18 months' work-release at the Anne Arundel County jail.

Judge Heller, who sentenced Schlossman and Reshetiloff, also ordered them to spend 2 1/2 years under house arrest, to perform 1,040 hours of community service and not to drink any alcoholic beverage for five years.

According to trial testimony, Schlossman and Reshetiloff harassed Mr. Baldwin by pouring beer and debris on him, urinating on him, pelting him with stones and pushing him into a gully in the woods near the first block of Jefferson Place, where Schlossman lived.

Mr. Baldwin was drunk at the time of the attack. Schlossman and Reshetiloff also had been drinking heavily, according to testimony.

When the pair found Mr. Baldwin dead the next day, they waited until nightfall, put his body on a wooden sled and dragged it deeper into the woods, where it was buried.

At one point, Schlossman broke the corpse's legs so it would fit into the shallow grave.

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

Mr. Baldwin's body was found nine months later, after an acquaintance of the defendants reported the incident.

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