Man convicted in fatal Brooklyn Park beating Second-degree murder verdict issued by judge

October 24, 1997|By Dan Thanh Dang | Dan Thanh Dang,SUN STAFF

A 20-year-old Baltimore man was convicted yesterday of beating a Brooklyn Park man to death last year.

Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Clayton Greene Jr. found Rufus Robert Edwards of the 900 block of Jack St. guilty of second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder after a nonjury trial.

Edwards is to be sentenced Jan. 9 in the death of Thomas J. Partain, 38, of the 200 block of Southerly Road in Brooklyn Park. Edwards is being held at the county detention center.

"I applaud Judge Greene's time and consideration he gave to the case," said Assistant State's Attorney Warren W. Davis III. "I think it was a fair and just verdict. The police did a tremendous amount of work in this and they deserve a lot of credit."

Police said officers who were called to an alley in the 5100 block of Kramme Ave. in Brooklyn Park at 2: 20 p.m. April 27, 1996, found Partain unconscious on the ground. He was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, where he died May 3.

Partain was stomped and beaten to death, said Davis. "What killed him was the brain damage."

Two witnesses told police that they had seen three men kicking the victim in the head. Police informants later identified Edwards, who was arrested at Arundel Park Recreation Center in Brooklyn Park. No other arrests were made.

Witnesses testified that the beating was drug-related.

"I am very, very disappointed," said Jonathan Gladstone, Edwards' lawyer. "The only evidence against him came from two people who the judge, himself, referred to as 'jail house snitches.' Clearly, they came forward with statements against my client in order to help themselves."

Pub Date: 10/24/97

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