Man convicted of attempted murder after officers restrain him in court

September 18, 1999|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore County jury convicted Ardale D. Tickles yesterday of attempted murder and armed robbery in the shooting of a McDonald's restaurant manager, hours after deputy sheriffs and police subdued Tickles in the courtroom as he walked away from the trial table.

The jury deliberated less than an hour before convicting Tickles, 19, who was arrested in the shooting in January after police found a pager rented by Tickles outside the Joppa Road restaurant.

Tickles, a resident of the 1600 block of E. Northern Parkway, is awaiting trial in an unrelated murder-for-hire scheme in Howard County.

Yesterday, hours before the case went to the jury, Tickles was removed from the courtroom after fighting with several deputy sheriffs and police officers who tackled him after he walked away from the trial table toward prosecutor James O. Gentry Jr. Tickles was ordered to remain seated by the judge before the officers restrained him.

Gentry said the scuffle began about 10: 15 a.m. after Tickles told Judge Alexander Wright Jr. that he wanted to fire his lawyer, assistant public defender Steward Lyons, and after the judge sent the jury from the courtroom.

The prosecutor said it took about 10 minutes to get Tickles into handcuffs. He did not return to the courtroom and did not testify in his defense.

During the trial, several of Tickles' friends testified that he told them he committed the robbery and shooting. One teen-age girl testified she was the unwitting getaway driver, and a woman testified that Tickles used her car to drive to the McDonald's.

Lyons told jurors in his opening statement that the prosecutor had only circumstantial evidence against Tickles, who he said made incriminating statements to the police about his involvement in the crime because he was a "scared kid."

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