Man sentenced for role in fatal 1997 drug deal

April 29, 2000|By Eric Siegel | Eric Siegel,SUN STAFF

A 26-year-old Johns Hopkins University graduate was sentenced yesterday to six months in jail, to be served on consecutive weekends, for his role in a botched off-campus drug deal in which the boyfriend of a Hopkins student was shot to death.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Paul A. Smith imposed the sentence on Atsushi Yasuno despite the tearful plea of his younger sister and an argument by his attorney that Yasuno should serve no jail time because he had kicked the heroin addiction he developed while attending Hopkins, and that he had turned his life around since the March 1997 incident.

In suspending all but six months of a three-year sentence, Smith said the turnaround Yasuno has made in his life was "applaudable," but the judge said he had to consider the need for retribution and punishment along with progress in rehabilitation.

"I'm disappointed," Jack B. Rubin, Yasuno's attorney, said after the sentencing.

The case stemmed from an attempt by Yasuno and three accomplices -- Hopkins student Jaime Kim Kornreich; her boyfriend, Printice McNair; and Thomas Logan, a friend of McNair's -- to sell half a pound of cocaine to two men in a West Baltimore apartment.

When they arrived at the apartment in the 2500 block of Winchester St., the two men pulled out guns, tied up Yasuno and his accomplices, and took the drugs. When McNair resisted, he was shot in the head. The others escaped by jumping out a second-floor window.

One of the two men, David Mitchell, was sentenced last month to 175 years in prison on kidnapping, drug and handgun charges. The second man, known only as Dexter, is at large, Assistant State's Attorney Salvatore Fili said.

Since then, Kornreich, whose rowhouse authorities called a "stash house" for drugs sold on and around Hopkins' Homewood campus, has received a six-month jail sentence, and Logan, who drove to the deal but apparently had no role in arranging it, has been placed on probation.

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