Rock-tossing teen gets 8-year term in man's killing

February 13, 1996|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

Apologies weren't enough for the family of Kevin M. Gallagher, who was killed by a rock-thrower in April, and neither was the sentence handed down yesterday in Anne Arundel Circuit Court.

After telling Mr. Gallagher's widow he was sorry, Jason W. Wyvill, 17, of the 200 block of Lyons Creek Mobile Estates in Lothian was sentenced to eight years in prison.

"It just doesn't seem right, eight years for killing my husband," said Lori Gallagher, the victim's widow and mother of their three children -- Daniel, 9, Wesley, 6, and Dylan, 4.

But Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. said Wyvill's decision to plead guilty to manslaughter and reckless endangerment Dec. 12 helped the victim's family avoid the ordeal of a trial. Wyvill could have been given 10 years.

"I think he deserves some consideration for putting the matter to rest," Judge Thieme said.

The victim's father disagreed, saying Wyvill was given too light a sentence. "I have nothing but contempt for the decision,," said Bernard Gallagher, 74.

On the night of April 3, Wyvill, then 16, was riding in a Chevrolet Corsica driven by William M. Donley of Harwood, according to Assistant State's Attorney Warren W. Davis III.

Wyvill threw rocks at several moving cars that night before targeting Mr. Gallagher's Dodge Dakota shortly before 9:30 p.m., Mr. Davis said.

As Mr. Donley's Chevrolet approached Mr. Gallagher's truck on Bay Front Road in Deale, Wyvill leaned out the passenger-side window and hurled a 5-pound, baseball-sized rock at Mr. Gallagher's truck, Mr. Davis said.

The rock hit the left side of Mr. Gallagher's windshield at head level, Mr. Davis said.

The truck careened off the road into trees near Solomons Island Road.

Mr. Gallagher, 38, of Deale died at the scene.

Mr. Donley, 19, is scheduled to be tried March 4 on charges of second-degree murder and reckless endangerment.

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