Nathaniel Hurt moves, complying with terms of release East Baltimorean, 66, served 14 months in prison for killing of 13-year-old

October 10, 1998|By Devon Spurgeon | Devon Spurgeon,SUN STAFF

Nathaniel Hurt, convicted in the 1994 shooting death of a 13-year-old boy, has moved out of his East Baltimore rowhouse to comply with the terms of his release from prison.

Hurt was released in January by Gov. Parris N. Glendening after serving 14 months of a five-year sentence in the killing of Vernon Lee Holmes Jr.

The youth was killed Oct. 10, 1994, when Hurt stepped out onto his fire escape and shot into a crowd of youths.

He said he was trying to scare the teens and that they were vandalizing his car.

Hurt, 66, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and a handgun offense by a Baltimore Circuit Court jury.

State officials said yesterday that Hurt's move out of the home in the 800 block of E. North Ave. on Aug. 14 means he is complying with the terms of his Jan. 6 release, which required that he leave.

"We think the fact that he moved puts him in compliance with the special conditions imposed by the governor," said W. Roland Knapp, director of the Division of Parole and Probation.

Knapp would not disclose where Hurt moved but said that before Hurt left, he had been living in the neighborhood without problems.

Hurt, a former Bethlehem Steel employee, had lived in his immaculately maintained rowhouse for much of the past 40 years.

He swept the sidewalks and alleys and ran a snowball stand for neighborhood children.

After his release, Hurt tried to sell the brick three-story corner rowhouse, which has bay windows.

But the nonnegotiable asking price of $120,000 was well above the $40,000 comparable homes in his area were bringing.

Knapp said that Hurt has not sold the house but has found someone to live there.

The 1994 killing sparked debate about teen-age vandalism and fears among the elderly living in urban neighborhoods.

Some argued that Hurt was justified in trying to protect his property, while others said he had gone too far.

Glendening called the case "a tragic, difficult circumstance for everyone" when he announced the commutation order in December.

Agnes Holmes, Vernon's aunt, said last night that she had no strong feelings about Hurt leaving the neighborhood.

But she said that his short prison term was "a slap on the wrist for killing someone."

"We never agreed with him being released," Holmes said. "It's like an insult because no one else around here would have gotten that kind of sentence."

Pub Date: 10/10/98

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