2 inmates guilty in assault on guard at Jessup

May 27, 1994|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,Sun Staff Writer

An Anne Arundel Circuit Court jury convicted yesterday one of three prisoners accused of trying to kill a guard at the Maryland House of Correction annex at Jessup, acquitted another and found a third guilty only of conspiracy.

The jury deliberated for about 2 1/2 hours after a three-day trial full of contradictory testimony, some coming from other prisoners, about who had done what to whom and possible motives in the May 3, 1993, assault. Judge Eugene M. Lerner set sentencing for July 18.

Rodney E. Barnes, 29, was convicted of assault with intent to murder, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, and four other related charges. Barnes, of Baltimore, was serving a life sentence on a 1986 murder conviction in the city, according to state Division of Correction officials.

Timothy Green, 27, also of Baltimore, was found not guilty on all charges. At the time of the stabbing, he was serving a two-year sentence on drug possession and burglary convictions, and was due to be paroled shortly. Because of his acquittal, he was to be released last night.

Ancil James, 22, of Prince George's County, was convicted of conspiracy to maim the guard, which could carry a penalty of up to 15 years imprisonment. At the time of the stabbing, he was serving a sentence of life plus 10 years for 1988 convictions on murder and handgun charges in Prince George's County.

Prosecutors alleged that he jammed a chair in the doorway to his cell to draw the guard into a trap.

Prosecutors charged that the three prisoners ambushed Folorunso Eddo of Silver Spring, a 33-year-old correctional officer, about 9:30 p.m. outside a cell and tried to kill him by repeatedly stabbing him in the face, head and neck with homemade knives.

Mr. Eddo said he had been on the job only two months.

Initially, six prisoners were suspected, but charges were dropped against three.

Prosecutors alleged that Barnes had threatened the guard earlier in the day.

The only defendant to testify, Green denied he was seeking revenge because Mr. Eddo wouldn't let him have a second hot dog at dinner. Green said he never ate the hot dog he was given.

"Obviously the state is disappointed on the outcome of the case against Mr. Green," said George LeMieux, a Georgetown Law School intern at the State Attorney's Office, who was handling his first jury trial.

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