Annapolis man convicted of second-degree murder

22-year-old killed acquaintance Jan. 22

November 13, 1999|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

In a compromise verdict, an Anne Arundel County jury convicted an Annapolis man of second-degree murder and handgun violations yesterday in the slaying of an acquaintance outside an Annapolis grocery.

The defendant, John Thomas Logan, 22, of the Eastport Terrace community, could be given a maximum of 50 years in prison when he is sentenced Dec. 17.

Attorneys said the jurors -- who deliberated nearly three hours Wednesday and seven hours yesterday -- told them that some panel members wanted to convict Logan of first-degree murder, some of second-degree and some of manslaughter, and reached the middle ground as a result.

Logan testified he had acted in self-defense when he shot Wayne Dwight Addison, also of Annapolis, four times Jan. 22. The two men had a dispute over a car, each claiming the other owed money.

Logan said he feared Addison, who once threatened him with a gun. He had verbally threatened Addison in the past.

Prosecutors branded Logan as "unworthy of two seconds of belief," while defense lawyers said if he had wanted to invent a story, Logan would have come up with a better one.

Defense lawyers were relieved Logan escaped conviction of first-degree murder, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. "We were hoping for manslaughter, but I can't say we are unhappy with second-degree," said Kim Germaine Judd, a defense lawyer.

Prosecutors were disappointed.

"It was a clear first-degree murder case. It was a murder in cold blood, brazen," said Assistant State's Attorney Frederick Paone, who will seek the maximum 50-year sentence. But he added, "We are pleased that they did not let a murderer go."

Addison, in a taxi with friends, taunted Logan the evening of Jan. 22. Logan approached the cab parked by Sanky's grocery store in the Eastport neighborhood. The men exchanged words, and Logan said he fired only because Addison was reaching for his gun.

A weapon was not found. Defense lawyers suggested that one of Addison's friends in the taxi took the weapon before police arrived.

Circuit Judge Eugene M. Lerner had about a half-dozen sheriff's deputies with two dogs in the courtroom when the verdict was read. The jury of nine women and three men were escorted out of the room to assure their safety in what was feared to be a potentially volatile case.

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