Killer's mother praying his life will be spared

June 06, 1996|By Kate Shatzkin | Kate Shatzkin,SUN STAFF

The mother of convicted killer Flint Gregory Hunt yesterday said she was sickened by Gov. Parris N. Glendening's rapid refusal to keep her son from the gas chamber, and said she was still praying for her son to be saved.

"It inflicted pain on top of pain. It's too much," Dorothy Arrington said yesterday, speaking to reporters at the offices of the assistant public defenders who are trying to keep Hunt, 36, from being executed.

The governor said Monday that he would not commute Hunt's death sentence, despite a lengthy petition and videotape submitted to him last week. The materials included an apology from Hunt and pleas from his family and several jurors who said they would have given Hunt life without parole if they had had the option.

That announcement came three days after the Maryland Court of Appeals delayed Hunt's execution, which had been scheduled for next week, until at least September, when it will hear another appeal of his case.

Hunt is sentenced to die for the Nov. 18, 1985, killing of Baltimore police Officer Vincent J. Adolfo. As the two struggled in East Baltimore, where Hunt had run from a stolen Cadillac, Hunt shot Adolfo twice, then fled. He was captured in Tulsa, Okla. But Arrington, 56, said her son had undergone a spiritual renewal in prison, practicing and studying the Muslim faith and being a positive role model to his son and nephews.

"He says if he could do it all over again, he would do it differently," she said. "He wouldn't experiment with drugs."

Why did her son go wrong? "I think he just got in with the wrong crowd," Arrington said. "I didn't know nothing about highs and lows. If I could have detected something like that, maybe I could have gotten him some help."

Over the years, Arrington said, Hunt repeatedly has told her that he was under the influence of drugs the day of the shooting. But he also has expressed remorse for the officer's death, she said.

Arrington said she had not asked to attend the execution and did not know whether she would. "I can't eat, I can't sleep at night. I get up in the night and go to my daughters. We cry together. That's all I know to do, just talk and pray."

Of Adolfo's family members -- who have said they want to see the death penalty carried out -- she said: "I know they're going through tremendous pain. There's a mother there, there's a father there, a sister and brother, and a wife.

"I feel their pain. I feel my pain. It's unbearable."

Pub Date: 6/06/96

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