Man is convicted in student's slaying

June 23, 1995|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,Sun Staff Writer

The fatal shooting of Morgan State University senior Lyndon Reese "Skipp" Turner remained a mystery for more than a year after his body turned up in a Hillendale trash bin in July 1993.

Yesterday, a Baltimore County jury convicted 38-year-old Ronald Monroe Stewart -- implicated by the hearsay confession of an accomplice who had committed suicide -- of first-degree murder and robbery.

Mr. Turner, 24, of Bargaintown, N.J., was living in an apartment at Northern Parkway and Loch Raven Boulevard when he headed out for a first date with a Towson State University student -- borrowing a roommate's BMW.

Early on July 14, 1993, his body was found, bound at the wrists with duct tape, in a trash bin at an apartment complex on Polaris Court at Cloister Road.

Although police found the bloody BMW in New York and publicized video pictures of a man using Mr. Turner's automated teller machine card, they had no suspect until fall 1994. A woman called the police anonymously to report that her boyfriend, Kevin Flight, had told her he and Stewart committed the killing.

Mr. Flight killed himself in Northern Virginia in December 1993.

The anonymous caller, Donna Hill, 25, formerly of Columbia and now living near Washington, was eventually identified by the police.

She testified at the trial that she called the police 11 months after her boyfriend's suicide because she had a brother whose murder was unsolved, and "I remember how my mother cried all the time."

The police located Stewart at the Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown, where he was serving a sentence for violation of probation for an unrelated offense.

Although he did not confess, Stewart identified himself for police in video pictures taken in a gas station-convenience store where the slain student's card was being used. Stewart told police that he and Flight had been partners.

Assistant Public Defender Jerri A. Peyton said the conviction will be appealed, primarily for a denial of Stewart's constitutional right to confront his accuser -- in this case, the late Kevin Flight.

Circuit Judge John Owen Hennegan scheduled sentencing Aug. 30 for Stewart. Assistant State's Attorney Deborah L. Robinson said she will seek a life sentence without parole.

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