Annapolis teen-ager acquitted of murder

Booze, 18, convicted on 4 lesser charges in Severn shooting

Anne Arundel

April 02, 2002|By Rona Kobell | Rona Kobell,SUN STAFF

An Anne Arundel Circuit Court jury acquitted an Annapolis teen-ager yesterday of the most serious charges in the multiple-count indictment against him, but convicted him on four lesser charges stemming from a fight in Severn last year in which one teen-ager died and two others were injured.

LoMichael Delvon Booze, 18, was found innocent of all counts relating to the death of Alexander David Henderson, including first-degree murder, felony murder, second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and robbery. Henderson, a 15-year-old Severn resident, was walking with three other teen-agers near Jacobs Road in Severn when he was shot.

Police said Booze, of the 700 block of Newtown Drive, was among the teen-agers who robbed and assaulted Henderson and his friends, Jamaar McCoy, Julian Banks and Joshua Blocker, as they walked by a noisy house where a party was being held. Booze was charged with assaulting all three men.

The jury convicted Booze of first-degree assault and attempted first-degree murder in the attack on Blocker, identifying him as the perpetrator and not as an accomplice. The jury also convicted Booze of two counts of using a handgun to commit a crime.

He was acquitted on charges of second-degree assault and armed robbery in relation to the attack on McCoy, and first- and second-degree assault and armed robbery in the attack on Banks.

Booze's attorney, William C. Mulford II, said the state had difficulty making its case against Booze because many witnesses refused to cooperate and several others changed their stories. More than 20 people were involved in the fight, Mulford said, and the state lacked strong corroboration that Booze had shot Henderson.

"The state doesn't lack for suspects if they wish to go after a few more people in this case, and I don't know what they're going to do." Mulford said.

Victims' family members declined to comment last night after the verdict was read.

Next month, Booze could be sentenced to up to 20 years on the gun charges and up to 25 years on the first-degree assault charge. The maximum penalty for the attempted first-degree murder conviction is life in prison.

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