Confession can be used in teen's trial

He is accused of robbing 3 stores with football star

July 23, 2002|By Dennis O'Brien | Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore County judge ruled yesterday that prosecutors may use the confession of a 17-year-old when he is tried on charges he participated in three liquor store holdups with a Dundalk High School football star who was later killed during an attempted robbery.

Derrick Lemell Breedlove, 17, who had a football scholarship to attend Hampton University in Virginia, was shot and killed by a clerk March 13 during an attempted robbery at Modern Discount Liquors in the 6900 block of Holabird Ave.

Ryan Crowe of the 7000 block of Dunbar Road in Dundalk was not charged in that robbery. But Crowe is accused of participating in three previous robberies with Breedlove, two of which were at the Holabird Avenue store.

Police allege that Crowe drove the getaway car for Breedlove in robberies at Modern Discount Liquors on Feb. 5 and Feb. 22 and at the High's store on the 6900 block of German Hill Road in Dundalk on March 7. Breedlove used a sawed-off shotgun in the liquor store robberies and a machete at the High's, police said.

In a hearing yesterday, Crowe argued that his confession should be ruled inadmissible because he had asked for a lawyer and police ignored his request.

But two police detectives testified that Crowe was "very cooperative," never asked for a lawyer and voluntarily gave oral and written statements. They said they found three machetes in the trunk of his father's car, evidence that will also be used in the trial.

"He appeared to be coherent and understood what was happening in the room," Detective Bernard Crumbacker Jr. testified.

Crowe testified that he asked several times to talk to a lawyer and his mother, but was rebuffed by detectives.

"I was told I watch too much TV, and that if I did get an attorney I would not go home that night," Crowe said. "What I cared about most was going home and seeing my mother."

Under cross-examination by Assistant State's Attorney S. Ann Brobst, Crowe acknowledged that he had read and signed a form saying he was informed of his Miranda rights.

County Circuit Judge John G. Turnbull II said that he did not believe that Crowe's statements were coerced.

"I don't see any coercion in any way, shape or form," Turnbull said.

Crowe remains free on $100,000 bail. His trial is scheduled for Sept. 19. If convicted, he could receive at least 20 years in prison.

Christopher Raivel, 17, of the 700 block of Oakleigh Beach Road in Dundalk is charged with attempted armed robbery in the Modern Discount Liquor holdup in which Breedlove was killed.

Raivel is accused of driving the getaway car, which was later traced to the Dundalk High School parking lot. No trial date has been set for Raivel's case.

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