Killer of 2 gets life without parole

Man fatally shot women in apartment in 1998, was on the run 2 years

Girl, 4, was sole witness

November 20, 2001|By Sarah Koenig | Sarah Koenig,SUN STAFF

The Baltimore man convicted of murdering two women in a Reservoir Hill apartment while a 4-year-old girl watched was sentenced yesterday to spend his life in prison without the possibility of parole.

After sentencing Kenneth D. Perry, 36, for the killings of LaShawn N. Jordan and her friend Kelly M. Bunn, Baltimore Circuit Judge Allen L. Schwait addressed family members of the defendant and of the victims.

"It's my sincere hope that you all heal," he said. "It may take a long time, but the hope is that life is good to you and you are able to heal."

The moment, which ended with tears from the women's mothers, had taken more than three years to arrive.

"He can't take up another day of our lives," said Donna Webster, Jordan's mother.

In July 1998, Jordan, 22, and Bunn, 21, who was pregnant, were found fatally shot in Jordan's apartment in the 700 block of Lennox St. Near Jordan's body was a stream of toilet paper coming from the bathroom, and a toy stethoscope. Her 4-year-old daughter, Jewel Williams, had tried to wipe up the blood and revive her.

Perry was an immediate suspect. The father of Jordan's now 4-year-old son, Perry allegedly had been stalking Jordan, and she had filed for a protective order against him. After the killings, Perry left the state, escaping Maryland police for two years until he was arrested on a drug charge in California in the summer of last year.

In May, Jewel took the stand as the sole witness to the murders. Holding a doll and her Bible, she calmly described hugging her mother as Perry fired his gun. Then, she told the jury, she ran to the closet where Bunn was hiding. But Perry found them and shot Bunn, too, she said.

Jewel stayed in the apartment with the bodies for a day or two, taking care of her baby brother until paramedics and police broke down the door July 11.

Jewel came back to court in August for Perry's sentencing, but the hearing was postponed because Perry had fired his lawyer. Jewel, now 8, stayed home this time. Webster, who is raising her and her brother, said she didn't want to put them through another confrontation with Perry.

"They are so happy in their lives right now," she said.

Yesterday, Perry still had not found a new lawyer and asked for another postponement, which Schwait denied.

Facing the judge alone, Perry, wearing a long beard and his head shaved, gave a somewhat disjointed speech about why he should be granted a new trial. Jewel's testimony was not believable, he argued, shown by the fact that she didn't know her brother's birthday, the Fourth of July. He also accused prosecutor Cassandra L. Costley of withholding evidence.

Schwait rejected Perry's pleas for more time and a new trial. "I agree with the verdict of the jury," he said, adding that Jewel was a solid witness who "was obviously an eyewitness to this event."

At the hearing, Jordan's stepfather, James Webster, asked Schwait to "spare no mercy" on Perry. Bunn's mother, Sharon Thomas, said Perry possessed a "cancer" in his heart that made him incapable of rehabilitation.

"If she was here," Thomas said of her daughter, "you wouldn't need the lights on because she would light up the whole room. That's how she was."

Schwait gave Perry a life sentence for the first-degree murder of Jordan and 50 years for the second-degree murder of Bunn and for handgun crimes.

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