Laurel man gets 30-year term in beating death

September 03, 1994|By Alan J. Craver | Alan J. Craver,Sun Staff Writer

A Laurel man was sentenced to 30 years in prison yesterday for the bludgeoning death in March of a man who he said had made sexual advances toward him.

Donald Raymond Ingram, 33, of the first block of Ruth Ave. was given the sentence as part of a plea agreement he entered for second-degree murder before Howard County Circuit Judge Raymond Kane Jr.

Ingram entered the plea in the March 5 slaying of James Wayne Landon Jr., 25, of the first block of Center St., Laurel.

About a month before the slaying, Ingram had been released from the state Division of Correction after serving part of a 25-year term for a 1982 conviction of assault with intent to murder.

"The defendant has a significant criminal history," Judge Kane said while issuing his sentence. "The facts of this case warrant the maximum penalty."

Ingram initially was charged with first-degree murder, but the count was amended by the prosecution to second-degree as part of the plea agreement. First-degree murder has a maximum sentence of life imprisonment; second-degree murder carries a maximum term of 30 years.

Senior Assistant State's Attorney Christine Gage told Judge Kane that Ingram admitted to the killing to his housemate and to a co-worker at Mill Pottery Inc. in Jessup several days after the incident.

Ingram told the housemate that he and Mr. Landon had been drinking in the woods off Fulton Avenue in Howard County when Mr. Landon made an unwelcomed sexual pass, Ms. Gage said.

According to the prosecutor, Ingram stated that he then struck Landon across the face with a metal pipe three or four times.

Police began investigating the incident March 6, when Mr. Landon's family reported him missing. His body was discovered by a search dog team March 15.

Before the body was discovered, Mr. Landon's father went through his neighborhood showing people a picture of his son and asking them if they had seen him, Ms. Gage said.

The slain man's father stopped at Ingram's home in the Beech Crest Trailer Park, but Ingram said he had not seen Mr. Landon, Ms. Gage said.

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