Remarks of suspect in killing at issue

Man implicates self, says Prothero case detective

March 01, 2001|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

Richard Antonio Moore implicated himself in talking to police hours after his arrest last year in the shooting death of Baltimore County police Sgt. Bruce A. Prothero, a county police detective testified yesterday.

Moore is charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery and assault in the Feb. 7, 2000, slaying.

Prothero, a 35-year-old father of five, was shot three times as he chased four men after a robbery at J. Brown Jewelers in Pikesville, where he was working a second job as a security guard.

Moore, 30, of Baltimore, will face the death penalty when he is tried April 17 before Judge Emory A. Plitt Jr. in Harford County Circuit Court, where the case was transferred.

In a pretrial hearing yesterday, county police Detective Philip Marll testified that when Moore was arrested in Philadelphia - before he was given the reasons for his arrest - he asked police, "How much can I get for armed robbery in Baltimore County?"

Marll testified that Moore asked about the possible sentence as Marll and his partner, Detective James Tincher, were leaving a police interview room at Philadelphia police headquarters about three hours after Moore's arrest at a north Philadelphia rowhouse Feb. 19, 2000.

Moore asked the question after he had requested a lawyer, which concluded the interview, Marll testified.

"I did not ask him any questions," Marll told Moore's lawyers yesterday.

In testimony, Marll described the following exchange with Moore on March 3 when he was providing a court-approved blood sample in a prisoner processing room at a Philadelphia jail:

Moore: "What's this for?"

Marll: "It's to match with the blood you left on the display cases."

Moore: "Oh, OK."

Moore's lawyers, Amanda Bull and W. Samuel Truette, are expected to argue today that both statements should be inadmissible because they were made after Moore had asked for a lawyer, and that their use would violate his Miranda rights.

In other testimony yesterday, Assistant State's Attorney Jason League said no deal has been made to obtain the testimony of a state's witness identified in court papers as a jailhouse informant.

That witness, William Silver, 46, of Baltimore, is expected to testify about statements Moore allegedly made last summer while they were inmates in the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Prosecutors have declined to comment on what Moore might have told Silver, who was being held on a theft charge from an April 15, 2000, shoplifting incident at Security Square Mall.

Court papers show that Silver was released June 13 after prosecutors requested his release. He is scheduled to be tried March 21 in Catonsville District Court.

In testimony yesterday, League acknowledged that he was asked to handle Silver's case by assistant state's attorneys S. Ann Brobst and Steve Bailey, who are prosecuting Moore.

League, a 15-year prosecutor who heads the District Court division for the Baltimore County State's Attorney's office, said that he hasn't discussed a deal with Silver.

He acknowledged that Silver has five convictions for theft and one for battery. League said that if Silver is convicted, the prosecutor would probably consider Silver's record, his testimony and information that Silver has colon cancer in recommending a sentence.

The pre-trial hearing continues today in Bel Air.

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