Teen gets 75-year prison sentence

Beane, 18, was recently reindicted on charges in January 2002 killing

March 22, 2003|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

A teen-ager who has become a symbol of Baltimore's struggles to prosecute violent crimes was sentenced yesterday to 75 years in prison for trying to kill a 15-year-old girl who had watched him shoot and beat another man.

The sentencing is not the final chapter in the story of Tyrone Beane, an 18-year-old who escaped prosecution in two separate killings after authorities dropped murder charges against him.

Once known as Baltimore's "most wanted fugitive," Beane was reindicted in one of those cases Tuesday after authorities tracked down a critical witness -- the teen-ager's sister -- who did not appear at earlier trial dates and has since recanted her statements to police.

Yesterday's half-hour sentencing hearing in Baltimore Circuit Court concerned Beane's conviction in January for second-degree attempted murder and robbery in the attack on the 15-year-old girl and a 19-year-old man.

Beane and two other men shot and assaulted Fard Myles in the 1300 block of E. Monument St. on Nov. 5, 2001.

Beane then spotted the 15-year-old girl who had witnessed the shooting and approached her. As he robbed the girl, Beane put a gun to her head and a friend encouraged him to shoot because she had seen their faces.

Beane pulled the trigger four times but the gun apparently malfunctioned and did not fire.

Judge John N. Prevas called the incident "troublesome" and said he was worried about letting Beane back on the streets after such a brazen act.

"This individual is so anti-social, so out of touch with reality, that I'm going to [incarcerate] him for as long as possible," Prevas said.

The judge then sentenced Beane to 30 years in prison for attempted second-degree murder, 20 years for using a handgun in commission of a crime of violence, 15 years for robbery and 10 years for assault. The sentences will run consecutively.

Beane's lawyer, Charles H. Dorsey, argued at the hearing that Beane should not have been convicted because the prosecution's key witness -- the 15-year-old -- had given conflicting statements about what happened. Dorsey also criticized The Sun's coverage of the trial, saying it had probably tainted the jury. He also requested a much more lenient sentence, saying his client had no convictions for violent crimes.

Dorsey said he intended to appeal the verdict and sentence.

Prosecutors said they were pleased with the sentence.

"It fits the crime and the facts and circumstances of the case," said Assistant State's Attorney Gregory G. Hopper, who prosecuted Beane.

Several of Beane's family members attended the hearing and reacted with shock at the lengthy prison sentence. Beane, who was wearing baggy jeans and a Baltimore Colts jersey, told his relatives that he loved them as he was led from the courtroom in handcuffs.

His sister -- the witness in January 2002 killing -- was also in the courtroom. "I love you, Brother," Tyiashia Beane yelled as he left the room.

Tyiashia Beane did not appear in court to testify against her brother in that murder case, and prosecutors were forced to drop charges against the 18-year-old on March 6.

Tyiashia Beane told detectives that Beane killed Taharka McCoy, 25, in the 1200 block of Peachleaf Court on Jan. 17, 2002, officials have said.

Beane was on home detention for a juvenile offense and cut off an electronic monitor before shooting McCoy, according to police.

The teen-ager was also charged in the July 2001 killing of Christopher Smith, 17, in East Baltimore. But investigators were unable to build a solid case and the charges were later dropped.

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