Man gets 20-year sentence for driving car at officer

Defendant tells judge he intended no harm

February 25, 2000|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A 22-year-old Columbia man was sentenced to 20 years in prison yesterday for the attempted murder of a Howard County police officer in May when he tried to run over the officer in a stolen car.

Ledell Padmore was convicted in December of second-degree attempted murder and assault after he tried to escape police and nearly drove over the officer on Stevens Forest Road.

"What greater authority figure is there than a policeman?" said Howard Circuit Judge Raymond J. Kane Jr. before he sentenced Padmore. "Attempting to run over a uniformed policeman is a significant crime."

Padmore, who also was convicted of stealing the car, has a criminal record going back to his childhood and is a danger to society, prosecutor Bernard L. Taylor said.

"He began his criminal life at a young age," Taylor said. "This crime is a police officer's nightmare."

Padmore told Kane that he had been drinking and smoking marijuana and cocaine that day and had not intended to harm the officer, only to escape him.

"My intention was never to hurt him in any way," Padmore said.

Padmore's defense attorney, Joseph Tauber, said Padmore was making strides in jail to rehabilitate himself, including taking classes to pass the high school equivalency examination. Padmore is trying to conquer his drug addictions and was a victim of associating with the wrong crowd, Tauber said.

A man and woman who identified themselves as Padmore's parents yelled at Taylor after the hearing, calling him a "racist" and saying he would "burn in hell."

"This was purely racially motivated," said a man who identified himself as Padmore's father, but would not give his first name.

Authorities said Padmore was driving the stolen car May 29 when it was involved in a hit-and-run accident at Broken Land Parkway and Hickory Ridge Road. Later that day, officers spotted the car on White Acre Road, police said.

Police followed the car into a parking lot on Stevens Forest Road, authorities said, and tried to stop it. But after reaching the end of the parking lot, the car turned around and sped for the lot's exit, police said.

The car drove directly at Officer Christopher Adams, who fired several shots at the car and jumped out of the way. The car missed the officer but struck a parked car, police said.

The driver fled, but a passenger, William R. Carter, 36, stayed in the car and identified Padmore as the driver.

Carter was charged by police, but a Howard County grand jury declined to indict him. Carter testified at Padmore's trial.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.