Jury indicts Baltimore man in 2 robberies in Owen Brown

May 19, 2000|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore man acquitted of attempted murder in a shooting that shocked Columbia residents in September 1998 was indicted yesterday in separate robberies at the Owen Brown Village Center last year.

A Howard County grand jury indicted Robert J. Manning, 19, on robbery, assault and theft charges in a holdup Oct. 28 of a woman in the village center parking lot. He also was indicted on the same charges in a robbery Nov. 1 of a restaurant in the center.

Manning was acquitted last March in the shooting of John Gordon Jackson, who was wounded outside the Fall River Terrace apartment complex about 2 a.m. Sept. 21. He had faced attempted murder and assault charges.

That shooting and another a day earlier rocked Harper's Choice village. A suspect in the earlier shooting was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison on robbery charges. He was acquitted in the attempted murder in the shooting of an admitted drug dealer on a footpath near Harper's Choice Village Center.

In the robbery Oct. 28, two men approached a 56-year-old woman walking to her car in the Owen Brown Village Center, according to charging documents.

One of the men struggled with the woman and wrestled away her wallet, which contained about $15, police said. The attacker also told the woman he was going to shoot her, police said. The men then fled.

A witness had seen the men loitering near pay phones at the center, police said. Officers lifted fingerprints off the phones.

On Nov. 1, an employee at Jerry's Pizza and Subs had walked out the store's back door to smoke a cigarette and felt a "hard object placed into his right kidney area," according to charging documents.

A man demanded money from the restaurant, police said, and gave the employee a bag to fill with cash. The robber fled the store with cash in the bag, police said.

Police said they later found a similar bag on a nearby footpath and processed it for fingerprints.

After receiving tips from informants, police in April compared the fingerprints on the bag and phones to Manning's. The prints matched, according to charging documents.

Manning was arrested April 17 and was being held last night at the Howard County Detention Center on $500,000 bail, officials said.

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