City teen gets 50 years in murder

Boy, 14, died in shooting

one man was injured

March 16, 2002|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

A teen-ager who prosecutors say was "defending his turf" when he blasted 12 bullets into a Southwest Baltimore rowhouse and killed a 14-year-old boy was sentenced to 50 years in prison yesterday.

Jerard "Hotrod" Price, 17, was convicted of second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder for killing Jerome "Cornelius" Green and wounding Rubin McFadden two days before Christmas 2000.

"What he did was extraordinarily heinous and violent," Assistant State's Attorney Frank G. Rangoussis told Judge Alfred Nance at Price's sentencing yesterday.

Price's attorney Howard Cardin tried to paint a sympathetic picture of his client by saying that Price is intellectually "extremely slow," but was trying to improve himself by taking classes in jail.

Price could be eligible for parole in 30 years.

Rangoussis told the court Price was a drug dealer with a juvenile record who fired his 9 mm handgun into the window of a small rowhouse while it was filled with people, including an 18-month old baby.

Green was sitting on the living room couch in the house, in the 2000 block of Wilhelm St., with friends at 12:45 a.m. when Price knocked on the door, Rangoussis said.

Price was looking for a man he had just argued with, Rangoussis said, and when he was told the man was not there, he walked away. Seconds later, Rangoussis said, bullets exploded through the window. One hit Green in the head.

"He was trying to make himself a bigger and better drug dealer and prevent others from coming on his turf," Rangoussis said.

Green died hours later at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. McFadden, 22, who was hit in the right buttock, was treated at the hospital and released.

Price, who was 16 at the time of the crime, learned to read while sitting in jail, Nance said.

Price told the court in a small, high-pitched voice yesterday that he didn't kill Green, but was sorry he was dead.

The victim's stepfather, Ralph Watson, spoke to the court and described his anguish over losing his stepson.

"I cannot say the pain this has brought my family," Watson said. "I will not be able to see my stepson grow up and become a man and have his own children."

When drugs and guns are together, Nance said, there is only one result.

"Your client for the first time can read because he was incarcerated," Nance told Cardin. "But that does not bring back the boy who was killed."

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