Teen's trial begins today in fatal shooting of girl Runion's lawyer to argue for manslaughter charge

June 11, 1996|By TaNoah Morgan | TaNoah Morgan,SUN STAFF

On the night of Jan. 17, Raphael D. Runion put a .45-caliber handgun to the left temple of Stacey L. Granruth and squeezed off one round, killing her, prosecutors say. Today, he is expected to argue in Anne Arundel Circuit Court that he didn't know the gun was loaded.

Runion, 18, of the 400 block of Hiddenbrook Drive in Glen Burnie is charged with second-degree murder in the 14-year-old Pasadena girl's death.

His lawyer, Rodney C. Warren, said yesterday his client will plead not guilty to murder, but he will argue that Runion should be charged with manslaughter.

Runion has confessed to police that he fired the fatal shot, then wrapped the girl in sheets, put her in his 1979 Ford Fairmount and dumped her body in woods near Dorsey Road.

"[Runion] admits basically everything except whether he had enough knowledge about the gun that we could prosecute for second-degree murder," prosecutor Nancy Harford said yesterday.

Robert Granruth, Stacey's father, has said she spent the afternoon before she was shot with friends at Star Billiards on Hospital Drive in Glen Burnie.

She and two of her friends went to Runion's apartment about 6: 30 p.m., he said.

The nonjury trial is to begin at 9 a.m. before Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr.

Pub Date: 6/11/96

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