Woman guilty of perjury in Prothero trial

Statement to grand jury at odds with testimony

January 15, 2002|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

A 24 year-old Baltimore woman was sentenced to a year in jail yesterday for lying when she testified last year at the trial for one of the men convicted in the killing of Baltimore County police Sgt. Bruce A. Prothero.

Parcha McFadden of the 1100 block of W. Saratoga St. was convicted of perjury and sentenced by Baltimore County Circuit Judge Dana M. Levitz after testimony showed that her sworn statements to a county grand jury shortly after the murder were contradicted by what she told jurors during the trial for Wesley John Moore a year later.

Moore, 26, of Baltimore, was one of four defendants convicted and sentenced to life without parole in the killing of Prothero, who was fatally shot Feb. 7, 2000, as he chased four men out of J. Brown Jewelers in Pikesville during a robbery at the store.

Prothero, the father of five, was working a second job as a security guard at the time of the shooting.

Assistant State's Attorney S. Ann Brobst testified yesterday that McFadden seemed friendly and cooperative when she told a grand jury Feb. 14, 2000, that a necklace found outside the store belonged to Moore, who was her boyfriend.

But McFadden seemed "hostile and belligerent" when she appeared at Moore's trial March 29 last year and recanted. She told that jury that she never made statements about Moore owning the necklace, Brobst testified.

Levitz reviewed transcripts of both statements before convicting McFadden. He said that the sentence might have been stiffer had McFadden's trial testimony affected the outcome of the case.

"Practically speaking, the crime that Ms. McFadden committed didn't hurt the prosecution of Wesley Moore, and thank goodness for that," he said.

Jurors convicted Moore, despite McFadden's contradictory statements, after DNA tests showed that Moore's skin tissue was on the necklace clasp. Brobst also presented county detention center records as evidence to show that McFadden visited Moore while he was awaiting trial.

Yesterday, Brobst testified that she brought McFadden before the grand jury soon after the killing because she knew that McFadden was Moore's girlfriend and wanted to preserve her testimony for the trial.

"I was aware of the relationship," Brobst said.

McFadden declined to speak on her own behalf yesterday.

Lawrence B. Rosenberg, McFadden's lawyer, said that McFadden has been reluctant to discuss why she changed her story, other than to hint that she feared retribution. "She said to me, "You see it all the time that people get hurt for these kinds of things,'" he said.

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