More prison time is given to man cited in 3 deaths

May 10, 1994|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,Sun Staff Writer

Lawrence D. Kates Jr., who has been involved in three deaths, two of them occurring in an accident in which he was driving drunk, was sentenced to an additional 2 1/2 years in prison because of probation violations that include drunken driving.

Yesterday, Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Robert R. Heller Jr. sentenced Kates, 31, of the 300 block of Glenwood Ave., and said the time must be served consecutively to a four-year sentence Judge James W. Dryden ordered last month for an unrelated conviction.

Assistant State's Attorney Warren W. Davis III had asked that Kates be imprisoned for eight years, arguing that Kates was responsible for three deaths.

"There is nothing more the system can do for Mr. Kates," Mr. Davis said. "We should stop doing what we can for him and start doing what we can to protect society from him."

According to court records, Kates attacked his half-brother on May 27, 1987. Walter Louis Myers III, of the 8100 block of Meade Village Road had undergone brain surgery a month earlier. Kates, who had been drinking, rammed Mr. Myers' head against a wall. Mr. Myers then fell to the floor and hit his head.

Mr. Myers died later that night at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Court records say he got out of his bed, fell on the floor and slipped into a coma.

Kates pleaded guilty to manslaughter and received five years' probation in that case.

A month after the December 1987 sentencing, Kates got drunk and drove a friend's Ford Bronco head-on into a Toyota Camry driven by a 17-year-old girl who was learning to drive.

Lenore Hrysenko and her father, John Hrysenko, 50, died in the collision that occurred along Route 170 near Baltimore-Washington International Airport. On June 1, 1988, Judge Raymond G. Theime sentenced Kates to six years for auto manslaughter.

With good time credits, Kates was released from prison on Nov. 1, 1991.

He was charged with drunken driving last May and battery last September. He was convicted of both crimes, which are violations of the probation terms he agreed to in 1987, Mr. Davis said.

On April 6, Judge Dryden sentenced Kates to four years for the battery and gave him a 60-day jail sentence for driving while intoxicated, said Richard Almy, Kates' probation agent.

Before yesterday's sentencing, Kates said he had been working 60-hour weeks as a construction laborer, attending alcohol counseling and seeing a psychiatrist, but was haunted by his past crimes.

"I have to live with my past every day of my life," he said.

Judge Heller refused to accept Kates' statement that his troubled past prompted him to drink and drive. "Everybody in this room has problems," the judge said.

Kates' fiancee, Tina Showalter of Glen Burnie, afterward said she had hoped for leniency because Kates has suffered enough.

"What he did, it happened eight or nine years ago," she said. "Society will never let him live that down, and he'll have to live with it every day."

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