Man given 18 years in slaying of girl, 14 She was shot in Jan. with stolen handgun

September 12, 1996|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

A Glen Burnie man was sentenced yesterday in Anne Arundel Circuit Court to 18 years in prison for shooting to death a 14-year-old girl in the bedroom of his home while trying to sell a stolen gun.

Raphael DeVonde Runion III, 19, of the 400 block of Hiddenbook Drive also was sentenced by Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. to five years of probation in the Jan. 16 slaying of Stacy Lynn Granruth.

Runion was convicted by Thieme of second-degree murder June 11 after a three-hour trial conducted without a jury.

Runion took the victim and two friends to his home to show them a silver-colored Colt .45 pistol after one of the friends, William Richardson, had expressed an interest in buying it for his father, according to testimony.

Richardson looked over the gun and handed it back to Runion, who fired it at the girl's face.

The friends fled, and Runion wrapped the body in bed clothing, put it into his car trunk and dumped it in the woods near Dorsey Road.

Runion has maintained he didn't know the gun was loaded.

Assistant State's Attorney Nancy Harford emphasized yesterday Runion's attempts to hide the evidence -- his dumping the body and covering up the bullet hole in his bedroom wall -- and argued that he should be sentenced to the "higher end" of state sentencing recommendations that called for a term of 18 to 25 years.

"These acts were done slowly. They were done with a lot of thought. It wasn't just something that happened in a panic," Harford told Thieme.

Assistant public defender Rodney C. Warren said Runion confessed when he was arrested a short time after the killing and that he took police to the body, gave up the handgun and cried during trial testimony about how the victim died.

"He's going to be living the rest of his life under a sentence of knowing that he shot a friend of his," Warren said.

Runion tried to apologize to the victim's family.

"I'd like to apologize to Stacy's parents. I am sorry," he said in a barely audible voice.

The victim's father, a computer specialist for the federal government, told the judge that Runion's actions after the murder spoke louder than his words in court.

"His only concern was to save his own skin, not for his own actions or my daughter's life," said Robert Granruth of Glen Burnie.

He later said that nothing he heard in court eased the pain of losing a daughter. "It's been tough. When I don't stay busy, it's tough, very tough," he said.

Runion, who left Mount Hebron High School in Ellicott City while in the ninth grade, also admitted yesterday that he stole the murder weapon in a Jan. 3 burglary at the home of Carroll Giese III of the 9000 block of Town Country Blvd. in Ellicott City.

He pleaded guilty before Thieme to first-degree burglary and was sentenced to a one-year concurrent term.

Pub Date: 9/12/96

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