Illness delays sentencing in rape case

January 11, 2002|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The Howard County sentencing of Antonio Donnell Oesby, a Washington man convicted of rapes in three jurisdictions - including one that resulted in death - was postponed yesterday after Oesby told his lawyer he was too weak to stand or talk.

Oesby is facing a potential life sentence in Howard County for a first-degree rape conviction stemming from the Oct. 1, 1999, attack on a young Columbia woman who was sexually assaulted while her son slept in the back of her sport utility vehicle. A Howard County jury convicted Oesby last month on seven charges, including rape, carjacking, sexual assault and kidnapping.

Oesby, 25, was wheeled into Howard County Circuit Judge James B. Dudley's courtroom shackled to a wheelchair, his head bowed.

His lawyer, deputy public defender Louis P. Willemin, told Dudley that Oesby told him he had suffered "weakening" in the past few days as well as a "significant" sore throat that made talking difficult. Oesby had not yet seen a doctor, Willemin said.

Dudley postponed sentencing until Feb. 15.

The case, which relied exclusively on DNA evidence to link Oesby to the assault, is one of more than a half-dozen filed against the Washington man for incidents that occurred during a six-week period in the fall of 1999.

In one of the cases - a rape and murder in Prince George's County - Oesby was sentenced to serve two consecutive life terms. He is also serving a sentence of 25 years to life for a rape conviction in Washington.

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