Jury convicts two teens in death of truck driver

Defendants also guilty on assault charges

third teen to be tried

March 26, 2001|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

Two teen-agers were convicted by a Baltimore County Circuit Court jury of second-degree murder in the Sept. 17 beating death of a 42-year-old truck driver along Stemmers Run Road in Essex.

James John Francis, 18, and Sean Kevin Adams, 19, both of Essex, were also convicted of first-degree assault by a jury of eight women and four men that deliberated 11 hours before reaching its verdict at 3 a.m. Saturday.

They were charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, manslaughter and first-degree assault in the death of Charles Edward Pall Sr. near Kenwood High School.

Pall, a father of three, had been drinking with a friend after they had spent the day moving Pall's family from Halethorpe into a new home in Essex, according to testimony.

Robert Bryan, the friend, testified that Pall decided to walk home about 3 a.m. after Bryan's truck blew out a tire and they couldn't find the jack.

Pall was walking along Stemmers Run Road about 4 a.m. when he flicked a cigarette at the windshield of a passing car driven by Scott Meadows, a friend of the defendants. Meadows stopped his car and the defendants confronted Pall, according to police testimony.

Prosecutors said that Adams tackled Pall and that Adams and Francis pounced on Pall, hitting and kicking him as he lay in the road unconscious.

But defense lawyers told jurors the autopsy showed that Pall died from a single blow to the head he suffered when tackled, that Pall had used cocaine and that his blood-alcohol level was 0.20 percent, twice the 0.10 percent limit for drunken driving.

Pall had threatened the defendants that night and at 6 feet 5 inches tall, he towered over the defendants, who are 5 feet 8 inches tall, the defense lawyers said.

"It was a fight. There was no intent to kill," said Gordon Tayback, Francis' lawyer.

Judge John Fader II is expected to sentence Francis and Adams in the next few weeks.

Robin Marie Fogle, 18, of Essex is also charged with first-degree murder in Pall's death and is expected to be tried later this year.

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