A county detention center inmate nicknamed "Dread" admitted during a jail-house conversation that he shot up Tom's Liquors in Odenton in August and would have shot more if he hadn't run out of bullets, Raymond R. Rivera testified yesterday.
The owner of the store died in the hail of bullets and his wife and two others were wounded.
Rivera, a convicted robber who is awaiting trial on charges of robbery, kidnapping and first-degree assault in a separate case, pointed from the witness stand at Dean L. Prue Jr. as the man he knew as "Dread."
Prue, of the 8300 block of Timberlake Court in Severn, is charged with first-degree murder in the Aug. 31 shooting death of Thomas Sung Hall, 63, at Tom's Liquors and Korean Restaurant in Odenton. Prue is also charged with assault with intent to murder in the shooting of three other people, including Hall's wife, Sue Jin Hall, 56.
Prosecutors brought Rivera to the stand in Anne Arundel Circuit Court on the final day of testimony.
"He told me he ain't really mean to do it," said Rivera, 28, who said he befriended Prue over games of checkers and while working out. He said they talked about the shooting only once.
"He said he just went in there to stick the people up for the money, but they were like, they ain't want to give it," said Rivera, who is charged in the robbery of a Royal Farms store in Glen Burnie on Dec. 20. "That's when he started bustin them. bustin' means shooting.
"Then he said he ran out the store, and then he kept shooting, and he ran out of bullets," Rivera said. "He said if he had more bullets, he would have shot all those people."
According to police, the gunman fatally shot Thomas Hall and wounded his wife Sue Jin Hall inside the store at 1592 Annapolis Road. Witnesses said they saw a man wearing a red bandanna walk out of the store and shoot at passengers in a van parked in front of the store, hitting two men in the van. Rivera said he told police about Prue's admission in January because he wanted to clear his conscience.
But defense lawyer Rodney Warren questioned whether Rivera's cooperation with police and prosecutors was really "planned" and "calculated" to win help with his own case. And under cross-examination, Rivera seemed unsure about whether he talked to Prue daily or less frequently.
Warren brought county police officers to the stand yesterday who testified that witnesses on the day of the shooting identified a man other than Prue as the gunman.
Officer Michael Praley, lead investigator in the case, also said ` `TC scent trail picked up by a state police dog led from woods behind the liquor store to Pioneer Drive, but not to the point on a street in Seven Oaks where Prue was stopped and questioned by police shortly after the shooting.
The final witness, Dean L. Prue Sr., said he drove his son to Fort Liquors, about a block from Tom's Liquors, on the evening of Aug. 31 so the younger Prue could get a sandwich. Prue Sr. said he was driving back to Fort Liquors to pick up his son when he saw a police officer questioning him.
"Before I could walk over to ask what was happening, the police officer released him," the older Prue said.
Prue was arrested Dec. 6 in La Marque, Texas, where he was staying with his girlfriend and her family.
The case is expected to go to the jury today.
Pub Date: 7/23/97