Columbia man convicted of cutting teen

July 02, 1996|By Caitlin Francke | Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF

A Howard County Circuit Court jury has convicted Antonio Beard of robbing and cutting a 13-year-old boy who was walking to his Wilde Lake home in September.

After two days of testimony in which Beard's defense attorney challenged the teen-ager's identification of Beard as his assailant, the jury took about five hours Friday to convict Beard on armed robbery, assault with intent to maim, assault and theft charges.

The Columbia man could face up to 35 years in prison when he is sentenced.

Beard's attorney, Samuel Truette, declined to comment.

Assistant State's Attorney Sue Ellen Hantman could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The boy said he was walking on West Running Brook Road on Sept. 17 after going to Wilde Lake Village Center to make photocopies for a social studies project.

Two men jumped out of a car, threw him to the ground and robbed him of less than $5.

Beard, who prosecutors said held a knife to the boy's throat throughout the attack, then cut him on the chest.

The youth testified that the scar still is visible.

Truette portrayed the teen-ager's identification of Beard, 29, as inconsistent, suggesting that the boy made the decision under pressure to pinpoint the man who assaulted him.

The teen-ager picked Beard's photograph from a collection of 42 mug shots two months after the incident.

But despite the delay between the attack and identification, the boy had no doubt that Beard was the attacker, Hantman said in her closing arguments.

"He came in here yesterday and pointed to that man," she said. "Identification by a witness is enough."

Pub Date: 7/02/96

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