Convicted murderer receives life sentence

No parole for man who killed witness

April 30, 1999|By Jackie Powder | Jackie Powder,SUN STAFF

Describing him as a "cold-blooded, calculated murderer," a Baltimore County Circuit Court judge sentenced Edward E. McCorkle yesterday to life without the possibility of parole for killing a man who was to testify against McCorkle on charges of attempted murder.

"I believe with all my heart that if he was let out he would kill again for a quarter," Judge John F. Fader II said before sentencing McCorkle, 33, who was convicted in December of first-degree murder in what prosecutors called the execution-style death of Kevin R. Reynolds.

Reynolds, 38 -- who was dating McCorkle's former girlfriend -- died Dec. 1, 1997, of three gunshots to the head at the Reisterstown apartment complex where he was employed as a maintenance worker. Reynolds was scheduled to testify the next day against McCorkle on stabbing charges, prosecutors said.

"You would be hard-pressed to find a killing that could be more appropriately described as `execution style,' " Assistant State's Attorney Stephen Bailey said at yesterday's hearing. "The last shot, the one that pierced the skull, basically made contact. There was searing on the skin."

Sharon Barnes, the mother of Reynolds' 12-year-old daughter, said the girl has had difficulty dealing with the loss of her father. Since his death, Barnes said her daughter has needed psychiatric counseling and anti-depressant medication.

"He was not a distant father," she said. "He taught her things, he did things with her. These things are not in her life now."

Cynthia McKenney, McCorkle's former girlfriend and the mother of four of his children, also was present for his sentencing. She did not address the judge.

Extra security measures were in place at the County Courts Building in Towson because of McCorkle's sentencing, said Sheriff Anne K. Strasdauskas. Seven sheriff's deputies were stationed in the courtroom instead of two, and courthouse employees, who are usually exempt from the metal detector at the front door, were scanned.

"We took extra precautions to ensure there were no disruptions in the courtroom," she said.

Said Assistant State's Attorney Samuel J. Draddy, one of McCorkle's prosecutors: "The bottom line is he's more dangerous than most people who come through this courthouse."

Pub Date: 4/30/99

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