Man serving 60 years is given additional 10

Home invasion was `sport' for city resident, judge says

March 29, 2003|By John B. O'Donnell | John B. O'Donnell,SUN STAFF

A 22-year-old Baltimore man serving 60 years in prison received an added 10-year term yesterday from a judge who said she thought he and a co-defendant had committed a home invasion for "sport" and "recreation."

Karlos Williams, who was featured last year in The Sun's series on murder cases in Baltimore, "Justice Undone," was sentenced for his July conviction on six counts of second-degree assault, six counts of false imprisonment and a single count of fourth-degree burglary.

His co-defendant Victor Fletcher of Baltimore, received an identical sentence.

Williams and Fletcher had been charged in a home invasion on Labor Day 2001 in the 2600 block of Guilford Ave. Six people in the house, including three children, were terrorized and threatened. One of the victims was the mother of Williams' two children. She testified on his behalf at the trial.

Williams is the nephew of Solothal "Itchy Man" Thomas, who was also featured in the "Justice Undone" series. Thomas, 26, has been charged with two murders and 12 attempted murders in the city. He has been acquitted four times by juries -- twice on murder charges and twice on attempted murder charges. Prosecutors dropped the other attempted murder cases.

Thomas is serving a four-year sentence after pleading guilty in January to two counts of illegal possession of a bulletproof vest, which is a misdemeanor.

Williams once attributed his problems with the law to his close association with his uncle.

In April 2000, a jury acquitted Williams, Thomas and a third man of murder. The next month, another jury acquitted the trio of attempted murder. The two crimes had occurred within 15 minutes of each other in December 1998, and Williams was arrested a month later with the gun used in both crimes and named Thomas as the shooter. He gave police a confession, but prosecutors opted not to use it out of concern that Williams would recant.

In September 2001, Williams and Fletcher, 25, were arrested in the same Guilford Avenue house that was the scene of the home invasion.

Altogether, Williams was charged with three home invasions that occurred between late April and Labor Day 2001. Last year, he was sentenced in Baltimore County Circuit Court to 35 years for a home invasion in Baltimore Highlands and to a consecutive 25 years in the robbery and shooting of a Woodlawn man.

Yesterday, prosecutor Lisa Leith asked city Circuit Court Judge Kaye Allison to give Williams a 60-year term in the Guilford Avenue crime and make it consecutive to the 60 years that he received in the county.

"Karlos Williams is a very, very dangerous man," Leith said. "He should never walk the street."

Allison said she had tried to figure out why Williams and Fletcher committed the home invasion and finally concluded, "This was recreation for you. This was sport," she said.

Mark Vernarelli, a spokesman for the state Department of Parole and Probation, said Williams would have to serve 30 years before being eligible for parole.

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