Court won't hear killer's case

January 17, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The U.S. Supreme Court refused yesterday to hear the appeal of convicted murderer Darris A. Ware, a onetime cryptologist at the National Security Agency who was sentenced to death for killing his former fiancee and her friend.

Ware still has appeal routes in state and federal courts that can last several years, said Frank R. Weathersbee, Anne Arundel County state's attorney.

In a 1999 retrial, an Anne Arundel County jury convicted Ware, then 28, of the fatal shootings of his former fiancee Betina "Kristi" Gentry, 18, and Cynthia V. Allen, 23, on Dec. 30, 1993, in the Gentry home in Severn. The state's highest court upheld that conviction.

Ware's first trial and death sentence, in Howard County, were erased by the Maryland Court of Appeals in 1997. The court chastised Anne Arundel's prosecutors for failing to tell the defense that a key prosecution witness had a pending bid to shorten his prison sentence and that a prosecutor had offered him support.

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