Trial of 2nd woman accused in slaying of nurse set to begin Convicted co-defendant jumped bail, still at large

January 03, 1996|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

While her convicted co-defendant remains at large after jumping bail, a second woman is scheduled for trial today in the fatal stabbing of a Baltimore nurse in February in a car traveling north on Interstate 83.

Jury selection is to begin this morning in Baltimore County Circuit Court for the trial of Bronwyn Byers, 26, accused of robbing and killing Myra Elaine Harrison, 30.

The victim was stabbed several times in the chest Feb. 10 in a dispute over a debt, police said.

The body was recovered after a witness, who had been riding a horse in the area, reported seeing two women digging in the snow along a remote county road.

Ms. Byers and co-defendant Latina Smith, 24, gave the same West Fayette Street address after their arrests that day.

But Ms. Byers' attorney, William M. Monfried, said his client had no part in the stabbing and actually tried to help the victim -- only to be threatened by Smith.

Smith was tried separately and convicted of first-degree murder and robbery.

She had been free on $100,000 bail, and did not return to court when the jury brought in the verdicts Dec. 13, the third day of the trial.

Smith could receive life imprisonment without parole at sentencing, if she is recaptured.

"She is still on the loose," Cpl. Kevin B. Novak, a county police spokesman, said yesterday. "Our homicide squad tried several locations and came up empty at each one. They continue to interview folks and look for her."

The trial of Ms. Byers -- who also has been free on bail -- is expected to last two to three days, according to Mr. Monfried and the state's attorney's office.

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