Balto. Co. man pleads guilty in shooting

Girlfriend was wounded, officer assaulted on road

November 30, 1999|By Joan Jacobson | Joan Jacobson,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore County man pleaded guilty yesterday to attempted murder and assault in a shooting in May involving his girlfriend and a county police officer who tried to help her.

Illinois Smith, 26, was accused of trying to kill Leah G. Littlefield, 22, and assaulting Officer Brian K. Brennan, who had pulled Smith's car over when he saw it swerve on North Rolling Road in Woodlawn. Police said Smith fired his .45-caliber handgun at the officer, who was not injured.

Smith, appearing in Baltimore County Circuit Court, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and illegal use of a handgun.

Littlefield, a county emergency medical technician and pre-med student at Morgan State University, spent 19 days at Maryland Shock Trauma Center with gunshot wounds to her wrist, jaw, shoulder and back.

According to a statement of facts read by Assistant State's Attorney Marsha Russell, Smith admitted forcing Littlefield into his car at gunpoint May 6 and driving her around the county for more than an hour.

While Smith was driving on North Rolling Road, Littlefield grabbed the steering wheel, forcing the car into the path of an oncoming police car to get the officer's attention. When Smith's car and the cruiser came to a stop, Smith shot Littlefield four times, then shot at Brennan and threw the gun under a tree, where it was retrieved by police, the statement said.

Smith, through public defender Stewart Lyons, agreed to the statement of facts, though he said he pointed the gun at the police officer without firing it.

Outside the courtroom, Littlefield said her injuries have kept her from returning to work and delayed her college graduation. She said she and Smith argued when she tried to break up with him.

Smith, whose last known address was the 7000 block of McClean Blvd., will be sentenced Feb. 8.

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