Man gets life term in killing of ex-officer

Accomplice who testified against Williams gets sentence of 20 years

March 18, 2000|By Tim Craig | Tim Craig,SUN STAFF

A man convicted of killing a retired Baltimore police officer in November 1998 during what police described as a robbery spree to get money to buy baby diapers was sentenced yesterday to life in prison without parole.

Christopher M. Williams, 28, was sentenced in the slaying of Oliver T. Murdock, 73, who was gunned down outside his West Baltimore home. Williams also received a 20-year sentence on a handgun conviction.

Kevin Blackman, 22, who admitted to being part of the robbery attempt and testified against Williams, received a 20-year sentence on a second-degree murder conviction.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in Saturday's editions gave an incorrect first name for the widow of Oliver T. Murdock, a former Baltimore police officer who was killed in November 1998. Her name is Katie Murdock. The Sun regrets the errors.

Murdock, of the 2500 block of Riggs Ave., was a police officer in the Southern District for nearly 30 years, then was a security officer for the National Security Agency for more than 18 years.

Circuit Judge William D. Quarles handed down the sentences after Murdock's wife and children made an emotional plea to sentence Williams to life without parole, instead of life with parole, which his lawyer had argued for.

"We lost much more than our husband and father," said Murdock's widow, Tamez Murdock. "We lost the nucleus from which our family pivoted."

But the Murdocks asked the court to be lenient with Blackman, who has apologized to them for his role. Blackman's mother and former teacher also testified before sentencing, describing him as a devoted father, student and artist. They asked Quarles to reduce Blackman's plea-bargained sentence from 20 years to 10 years, but the judge refused.

"It should not be the exception that a high school student passes his courses," Quarles said while handing down the sentence. "To his mother, it is not exceptional he took care of his child that he had out of wedlock."

Michael Carroll, 44, the driver during the robbery spree, will be sentenced April 14.

Pub Date: 3/18/00

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