Life term without parole given in fatal stabbing

October 28, 1997|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore Circuit Court judge yesterday sentenced Richard "Ricky" Green to the maximum penalty of life without parole for the fatal stabbing of an Annapolis judge's 81-year-old mother.

Judge John N. Prevas emphasized that the severity of the sentence had nothing to do with the fact that the victim was part of a high-profile family.

"I am not giving any special prominence to the fact that the victim is Beatrice Lippman Manck," mother of District Judge Joseph P. Manck, Prevas said. "I haven't hesitated to give life in these situations.

"No death is lesser than any other," Prevas said. "People are people. Love is love. And death is death."

Mrs. Manck was strangled and stabbed in the chest Nov. 28, 1995, after a break-in and robbery in her apartment in the 7100 block of Park Heights Ave. in Northwest Baltimore. Jewelry worth thousands of dollars was stolen. Some of it was recovered from city pawnshops after a broker reported the items to police.

Althea Handy, the assistant state's attorney who prosecuted the case, said during the case that Green, a 35-year-old Baltimore resident, committed the murder to feed a $200-a-day drug habit.

A jury convicted Green of the murder Sept. 12.

In the courtroom yesterday, Green maintained his innocence.

"I'm sorry about what happened, but I wasn't responsible for it," Green told the court. "I do have a problem with drugs. I'm here to ask you, judge, to be lenient on me."

But Prevas said he did not see any evidence to warrant a sentence less than the maximum penalty. Prevas said he based his decision on the nature of the crime and that Green, of the 500 block of Presstman St., refused to seek help for drug, alcohol and psychiatric problems he had suffered for more than 20 years.

Prevas' decision followed the tearful testimony by members of Manck's family, including Judge Manck, who he was speaking for the first time on a witness stand.

"A day does not go by that I don't think about my mother," zTC Manck said. "This was an action that was incredibly brutal. The brutality of strangling and stabbing someone is intolerable."

Manck said he has tried not to allow being the survivor of a murder victim affect him in his decisions as a judge, but his mother's death "makes a difficult job more difficult. You have to fight with these inner demons."

While Manck was on the witness stand, Prevas said he wanted to make it clear for the record that the two judges had never known each other or met before the trial.

Manck and other family members said they were relieved at Prevas' decision.

Angela Shelton, Green's lawyer, said she is working on an appeal of Green's case.

Pub Date: 10/28/97

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