City man convicted of 2 bank robberies Zenone also a suspect in double slaying in 1995

December 12, 1996|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore man named by police as a suspect in a 1995 Loch Raven double homicide was convicted yesterday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore of robbing two Baltimore County banks.

The jury deliberated about 2 1/2 hours before convicting Michael Zenone, 27, of robbing and of aiding and abetting in holdups at the Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Co. in White Marsh on April 12 and First Virginia Bank in Towson on April 26.

Zenone was acquitted on two federal weapons charges.

The trial, which began Monday, was Zenone's second on the robbery charges. In October, a federal jury was deadlocked on the allegations, and Judge Frederic N. Smalkin declared a mistrial.

Zenone's brother, Anthony Zenone, 30, was convicted of those robberies at the trial in October. But that jury was deadlocked on Anthony Zenone's role in robbery on Sept. 3, 1993, at First National Bank of Maryland in Arnold, for which Michael Zenone was acquitted.

A new trial is scheduled to begin tomorrow for Anthony Zenone.

Police have said the brothers are suspects in the slayings of Vernon A. Smith and Vincent B. Young, whose bodies were found in shallow water near the Warren Road bridge June 15, 1995. Neither brother has been charged.

After this week's trial, Gerald C. Ruter, Michael Zenone's attorney, speculated that the jury acquitted his client on the weapons charges because jurors apparently did not believe his client was there at the time of the robberies but helped his brother plan them.

Ruter speculated that the jury focused on the fact that Michael Zenone was seen on bank surveillance tapes a few days before each bank was robbed. He said his client was in the banks on those days because he wanted to open a checking account.

Both brothers will be sentenced on the robbery charges March 5.

Pub Date: 12/12/96

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