Death penalty pondered in killing

4 charged with murder in beating last month of restaurant manager

January 30, 2001|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

Baltimore County prosecutors are weighing whether to seek the death penalty against any of the four Baltimore teen-agers indicted yesterday in the beating death of a fast-food restaurant manager two days before Christmas.

James W. Stambaugh Jr., 21, was killed during a robbery at the Burger King in the 11300 block of York Road in Hunt Valley.

Courtney Darnell Bryant, 18, of the 3200 block of Garrison Ave.; Breon Carla English, 16, of the 1100 block of Somerset St.; William Frederick Jones, 17, of the 100 block of S. Calhoun St.; and Andre Lamont Lawson, 17, of the 1000 block of N. Central Ave. were indicted by a Baltimore County grand jury on charges of first-degree murder, armed robbery, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery and first-degree assault.

English also was indicted on a charge of being an accessory after the fact to murder, according to Baltimore County Assistant State's Attorney S. Ann Brobst.

Brobst declined to say why English was indicted on the accessory charge, but did say that prosecutors are considering whether to seek the death penalty against any of the suspects.

Stambaugh, a Towson resident, was killed when a struggle broke out during the robbery, police said. He had been working for Burger King since he was 16.

His body was found near a trash bin behind the restaurant by employees reporting for work the morning of Dec. 24, police said. His car, stolen during the robbery, was recovered the next day in the 2000 block of Wolfe St. in Baltimore.

Police said the robbers made off with $2,800.

Jones, who worked at the restaurant, helped the other suspects get inside by leaving a door unlocked at closing time, police said.

Jones was arrested Jan. 3 and led police to the other suspects, according to charging documents.

Jones, Lawson and Bryant are being held without bail at Baltimore County Detention Center.

Baltimore County Circuit Judge Christian M. Kahl released English on $50,000 bond after he surrendered to police Jan. 5.

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