Judge denies plea to reduce sentence

April 19, 1995

An Anne Arundel Circuit Court judge denied yesterday a request to reduce the prison term he imposed last year on a 48-year-old Baltimore man for stealing the handgun used to kill an Arnold nightclub owner in 1993.

Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr., who ordered the five-year sentence Sept. 14, refused to allow Sherman Purviance to serve the remainder of it in a halfway house so that he could get drug treatment.

Richard Duden, Purviance's lawyer, argued that his client has been a model prisoner in the Maryland House of Correction in Jessup and has counseled other inmates, but that he has never been given drug treatment in prison.

The judge said he felt compelled to follow the recommendations in a state health department evaluation of Purviance that said he should complete his five-year sentence.

Purviance pleaded guilty to felony theft after police found a .38-caliber Taurus revolver in a car in which he was riding Oct. 1, 1993.

The gun had been reported stolen about three months before from On Target, a Severn gun shop, police said.

Police said the gun was used to murder of Joanne S. Valentine, who was shot to death Sept. 26, 1993, in the driveway of her home in the 500 block of Broadwater Road.

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