A Baltimore man received a life sentence yesterday for the slaying of a convenience store owner killed in a gunbattle last year with four armed men who pushed their way into his Randallstown home behind his wife and 3-year-old son.
Frederick Pate-Bey, 23, formerly of the 3800 block of Palmer Ave., pleaded guilty last month to first-degree murder in the death of Christopher Payne Sr. He was sentenced yesterday by Baltimore County Circuit Judge Alfred L. Brennan Sr.
One of the intruders also was killed in the July 27 attack, an apparent robbery attempt, said Assistant State's Attorney Angela R. White.
The men forced their way at gunpoint into the home in the 3900 block of Shenton Road at 9:45 p.m., as Mrs. Payne, her son and a friend of hers were entering, the prosecutor said. Mr. Payne, 29, owner of a convenience store at Central Avenue and Lombard Street in Baltimore, heard the commotion and went downstairs with his weapon, and dozens of shots were fired.
Gary Dickens, 30, of the 3600 block of W. Belvedere Ave. was killed. The fleeing survivors collected all of the weapons -- including Mr. Payne's -- so police could not determine who fired the fatal shots.
Two of the gunmen fled in a car taken from a couple delivering pizza, while Pate-Bey ended up on a Metro train, where a nurse and city police officer noticed a bullet wound in his leg. After his release from the Maryland Shock Trauma Center several days later, he was arrested on murder charges.
Another person charged with murder in the case, Clifton Matthews, 21, a Baltimore-area man who surrendered after moving to New York, is scheduled for trial Monday. A fourth gunman known only by the nickname "Black" never was identified.
At the time of the attack, Ms. White said, Pate-Bey had been on parole for about a month from two armed-robbery convictions.