Jessup man took responsibility for killing, 2 witnesses testify

Victim was fatally shot at Columbia hotel

September 22, 2001|By Laura Cadiz | Laura Cadiz,SUN STAFF

Witnesses for the prosecution offered potentially damaging testimony yesterday in a Jessup man's murder trial, claiming he took responsibility for a fatal shooting at a Columbia hotel.

A friend of the accused and a police officer testified that Shamal Ira Chapman, 21, admitted to the shooting at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel on Stanford Boulevard during a birthday party.

Lorence Smith, 22, Chapman's friend, said that shortly after the shooting Jan. 13, Chapman told him that he argued with some guests and shot a gun through the closed doors between two hotel adjoining rooms where the party was held.

Smith testified that Chapman "felt like he got one of them" and was afraid that police were looking for him.

"He was real nervous, he didn't want to talk on the phone," he said. "He didn't want to talk too loud."

Chapman of the 6700 block of Old Waterloo Road is charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and related charges in the shooting that killed Andre Devonne Corinaldi, 18, a senior at Long Reach High School, and seriously injured Lauren Nicole Perkins, also 18, of Elkridge.

The trial in Howard County Circuit Court is expected to end by late next week.

Howard County Detective Nathan Rettig testified that while he was driving Chapman to the police station after arresting him Jan. 18, the defendant unexpectedly told him what Rettig viewed as an admission of guilt.

Rettig testified he was trying to "build a rapport" with Chapman by asking him about school and work, when Chapman told him, "They were smooth," referring to the officers who searched his family's home. "I'm glad everybody kept their cool. I would've hated to see one of my brothers get hurt for something I did," Rettig said Chapman told him.

The statement was made before police read Chapman his rights. Rettig said he didn't think it was necessary to advise Chapman of his rights because he wasn't planning on asking him incriminating questions at that point.

Smith also testified that Chapman told him he stole a .40-caliber Glock handgun, which is believed to have been the weapon used in the shootings. He said Chapman carried the gun in his car or on him.

"I'd never seen him without it," he said. The Glock has not been recovered.

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