Jury weighs verdict in slaying of judge's mother Baltimore man, 35, accused in fatal stabbing

September 12, 1997|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

Jurors began deliberations late yesterday in the case against a Baltimore man accused of fatally stabbing the 81-year-old mother of an Annapolis district judge during a robbery at her home.

Richard "Ricky" Green, 35, of the 500 block of Presstman St. is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Beatrice Lippman Manck, the mother of District Judge Joseph P. Manck.

Mrs. Manck was killed after a break-in and robbery in her apartment in the 7100 block of Park Heights Ave., in which jewelry worth thousands of dollars was stolen. Some of the jewelry was found at city pawnshops.

Manck sat outside the courtroom yesterday afternoon, awaiting a decision by the jury. But the jury ended its deliberations after almost two hours. Jurors plan to reconvene at 9: 30 a.m. today.

In closing arguments yesterday, Althea Handy, an assistant state's attorney who is prosecuting the case, told jurors how Manck was killed Nov. 28, 1995, when she was strangled and stabbed in the chest with a butcher knife.

"That is willful. That is deliberate, and it is premeditated," said Handy, urging the jury to convict Green of first-degree murder. "She was on the ground when he butchered her.

"Give him what he earned," she said. "Convict him of murder."

Handy said that Green robbed and killed Manck to pay for a $200-a-day drug habit.

When Green was arrested, a card suggesting that he was in the city's needle-exchange program was found in his wallet with a card from the pawnshop where some of the jewelry was found.

Angela Shelton, Green's lawyer, said there was insufficient evidence to prove that Green was the one who killed Manck.

Shelton suggested that Green's girlfriend or someone who was part of a catering crew that had been inside Manck's apartment just days before the murder might have committed the crime.

The girlfriend, Bernadette Denise Suggs, was charged in the case as an accessory after the fact. But in an agreement with prosecutors, that charge was dropped in exchange for Suggs' testimony against Green.

She said that he brought the jewelry to her after saying he had found it while working as a trash hauler with his brother.

Suggs pleaded guilty to theft over $300.

Shelton said Suggs' testimony should not be viewed as credible because she admitted in court that she was a drug user.

"It's a shame. It's a tragedy," Shelton said of the murder. "But Green did not kill Mrs. Manck. It's easy to blame the boyfriend."

Pub Date: 9/12/97

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