Jamison's sentencing is postponed until Jan. 19 Killer of Tara Gladden is granted his request for presentencing inquiry

November 22, 1995|By Shanon D. Murray | Shanon D. Murray,SUN STAFF

The family of a slain Columbia teen went to her murderer's sentencing trial in Howard County Circuit Court yesterday in search of closure, but was handed a two-month postponement instead.

"At least we'll get a late Christmas present," said John Gladden, father of 15-year-old Tara Allison Gladden, who was strangled two summers ago by Curtis Aden Jamison.

"All good things are worth waiting for," Mr. Gladden added.

On Oct. 24, a Howard County judge found Jamison, 30, of Baltimore guilty of first-degree murder.

Yesterday, moments before Jamison was to be sentenced, his attorney requested a presentencing investigation -- a defendant's background report that a judge can consult before sentencing.

The move postponed Jamison's sentencing until Jan. 19.

"Having final closure would have been nice," Johanna Gladden, the girl's mother, said outside the courtroom. "It has been such a long wait just to get to the trial."

Senior Assistant State's Attorney Michael Rexroad, who is seeking life in prison without parole for the defendant, said the presentencing investigation may work against Jamison.

The report, which will be prepared by the county's Parole and Probation Office, will include an impact statement from the Gladden family, a statement from Jamison and personal history such as his education, employment, criminal, health and financial records.

Under Maryland law, a presentencing investigation may be requested any time before the sentence is imposed.

Usually, defense attorneys ask for the report immediately after a conviction.

The report will be submitted before the next sentencing hearing to Judge James B. Dudley, who found Jamison guilty of the 1993 slaying of Miss Gladden after deliberating a half-hour.

"We don't want to rush to judgment or to punishment," said Jamison's attorney, Edward Smith Jr.

"Deferring the sentencing for two months shouldn't in any way cause [the Gladdens] any additional pain," Mr. Smith said.

Prosecutors contended during the trial that Jamison killed Miss Gladden to beat criminal charges filed against him over their sexual relationship.

In December, a grand jury indicted Jamison in the girl's death after a 17-month police investigation.

Her nude and decomposed body was found in a culvert under Little Patuxent Parkway almost a month after she vanished from her home.

Jamison is serving a 20-year prison term at the Roxbury Correctional Institution in Hagerstown for having sexual relations with two other underage girls.

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