City judge sets Hunt's execution for week of June 10 One of few appeals left was denied Tuesday

April 26, 1996|By Kate Shatzkin | Kate Shatzkin,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore judge yesterday signed a death warrant for condemned killer Flint Gregory Hunt, setting his execution for the week of June 10.

The warrant signed by Judge Joseph H. H. Kaplan came two days after Hunt, who is sentenced to die for the Nov. 18, 1985 killing of Baltimore Police Officer Vincent J. Adolfo, lost one of his dwindling remaining appeals. Officer Adolfo, 25, was trying to handcuff Hunt in a dark East Baltimore alley when Hunt, who had a long criminal record, fired two deadly shots.

Hunt's lawyers prepared yesterday to ask a court to stay the warrant pending the exhaustion of Hunt's remaining appeal options, which could take months. Hunt has 28 days to ask the Maryland Court of Appeals if it will consider reviewing Baltimore Circuit Judge David Ross's ruling against him, made Tuesday.

"We'll obviously have to get a stay at some time," said Thomas C. Morrow, who is representing Hunt. "We probably want to put our heads together" with other lawyers handling aspects of the case, he said.

Baltimore Assistant State's Attorney Timothy J. Doory, who prosecuted Hunt in 1986, said prosecutors will oppose a stay. "It will be our suggestion that all [appeal] processes take place between now and the 10th of June," he said.

If the execution takes place, it would be the first in Maryland since John Frederick Thanos was put to death by lethal injection May 17, 1994, after murdering three teen-agers in 1990.

Hunt, 36, is to be the last person to be executed by gas in Maryland. Lethal injection became the state's official method of execution in 1994. Mr. Morrow said yesterday his client prefers to be put to death by gas.

Leonard A. Sipes Jr., spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, said correctional staff did a drill of execution procedures at the Maryland Penitentiary a month ago, testing the gas and lethal-injection chambers.

Maryland law calls for executions to be scheduled within a certain week up to eight weeks after a death warrant is signed, unless a court stays the warrant. Only after it takes place is an execution announced, and even witnesses typically get just a few hours' notice.

In addition to his request for review by the Court of Appeals, Hunt plans to pursue an appeal in federal court. If denied review by the state's highest court, he can petition the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his case, and he can seek clemency from Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening.

Pub Date: 4/26/96

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