Man gets 50-year term for shooting at officers

Gunfight erupted in 2001 in West Baltimore while he was sought on warrant

April 24, 2003|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

Edward P. Bland, who shot at four police officers in a West Baltimore gun battle in 2001, was sentenced yesterday in city Circuit Court to 50 years in prison.

"You might as well give me the death penalty," an agitated Bland told Judge John M. Glynn. "I never tried to kill anyone."

Glynn calmly responded: "A man makes decisions in life and must deal with the consequences."

Bland, 33, of the 3400 block of Springdale Ave. was convicted in February of four counts of first-degree assault and handgun crimes.

When he was arrested, Police Commissioner Edward T. Norris said the department "really wanted this guy" for alleged connections to a spate of violence. He had been wanted on two outstanding attempted-murder warrants.

Assistant State's Attorney Twila C. Driggins, who prosecuted the case, asked the judge "not to accept" Bland's lawlessness. "An individual who will shoot at a Baltimore City police officer will shoot at anyone," Driggins said. "It is time for us to shut down this culture of lawlessness."

Bland's lawyer, A. Dwight Pettit, told the judge he should sentence Bland for his crime, not for all the crimes in the city.

During the trial, Bland testified that he had the guns to protect himself because he was caught in a dangerous "love triangle."

The incident happened Oct. 15, 2001, when four officers tried to arrest Bland on a warrant. Detectives Earl T. Williams, Michael Coleman, Sean Ruane and Steven Staab were not hurt, but Bland was shot several times.

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