Metheny gets life, no parole in killing Sentence consecutive to 50-year term

trial in 2nd slaying in Oct.

May 16, 1998|By Scott Higham | Scott Higham,SUN STAFF

A day after escaping the death penalty for the fatal stabbing of Kimberly Spicer, Joseph "Tiny" Metheny was sentenced yesterday to spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Metheny, 43, a confessed serial killer who claims he has killed as many as 10 people, sat stone-faced as Baltimore Circuit Judge Clifton J. Gordy pronounced the sentence. He told Metheny the sentence will be consecutive to a 50-year term he is serving for kidnapping and sexually abusing another woman.

In October, Metheny will go on trial again. He is accused of killing Cathy Ann Magaziner, 39, whose decapitated body was found on the grounds of the Joe Stein and Son pallet company in Southwest Baltimore, where Metheny was a forklift operator.

Prosecutors also will ask for the death penalty in that case.

In the Spicer case, prosecutors failed to convince Gordy that Metheny robbed or sexually assaulted his victim before stabbing her 26 times.

A guilty verdict for either crime would have qualified him for the death penalty.

Spicer's mother, Kathie Price, sat through the three-week trial. She listened to the graphic details of how her 23-year-old daughter died at the hands of Metheny, who told police he committed the killing for one reason.

"I just wanted to do it," he said in a confession that is part of the court file.

Yesterday, Price took the stand to read a victim-impact statement.

She sat steps away from Metheny, whose hands, arms and ankles were manacled with chains and cuffs. She drew a breath and began to read a poem she wrote to confront her ordeal.

I thought I knew pain and sorrow

I thought I had visited the depths of despair

But I didn't know what was to come on the morrow

Because none of it could even dare compare

With the soul piercing loss of my daughter

During the trial, Price listened as prosecutors argued that Metheny tried to rape Spicer with a beer bottle before her death and that Metheny killed her because she resisted.

The prosecutors also said Metheny stole her clothes before burying her under trash and tires, then stuffed the body beneath the trailer where he lived.

Defense lawyers told Gordy, who heard the case without a jury, that Metheny violated Spicer with the bottle after she was dead. They said their client has a history of having sex with dead women and that necrophilia is not considered a crime in Maryland.

Price continued to read her poem in the third-floor courtroom.

Kimberly was so full of vigor and life

You could see it in her sparkling green eyes

And feel the warmth in her beautiful smile

You could hear it in her musical laughter

But she only enjoyed it for a short mile

As Price read, Metheny began to sob. He dabbed his eyes with his beefy hands and stared at the mother of his murder victim.

Price continued to read.

Then one dreadful and terrible dark night

One who had no regard for the life Kim loved

Took the sparkle and put out its light

Her smile no more would warm those she knew

The laughter silenced by a one so cruel

At the end of the hearing, Gordy asked Metheny whether he had anything say. He stood and said, "Same as I said before. Sorry could never do anything. I'm a rotten son of a bitch. I'm sorry that my life did not come to the end that I wanted it to. Perhaps one day it will. That's it."

L Metheny once told detectives he wanted to die for his crime.

Gordy asked him, "Do you understand your sentence today?" he asked.

"Yes sir, I do," Metheny said before being escorted back to

prison.

Pub Date: 5/16/98

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