Judge convicts woman in '95 killing of husband

She could get 2 life terms for planning city homicide

October 02, 2003|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

After saying that Leroy Lincoln Sr. seemed to be an "outstanding candidate for murder if there ever was one," a Baltimore Circuit Court judge found Lincoln's wife guilty yesterday of killing him.

Geralene Lincoln, 57, could receive up to two life sentences for planning the 1995 bludgeoning death of her husband, who sexually abused their daughters and forced their sons to sell drugs, according to testimony.

The state's theory of the case is that Lincoln was the mastermind behind the killing, while her son, Leroy Lincoln Jr., and a third defendant, John Ulrich, carried it out with the handle of an ax from her house.

"She admitted she knew about the murder before and after it occurred," said Assistant State's Attorney Samuel Yee, who prosecuted the case. "The murder weapon conveniently came from her house."

Leroy Lincoln Jr., 27, of North Wilkesboro, N.C., was convicted last week for the death of his father, who was 51.

Warren A. Brown, Geralene Lincoln's lawyer, argued yesterday that while his client hated her estranged husband and asked several people to kill him during a 20-year span, there was no evidence proving any of those people accepted her offer.

"She might not have minded them doing it, but that does not make her guilty of entering into an agreement to commit the crime," Brown said.

Judge John M. Glynn told Brown that he disagreed with the argument that Geralene Lincoln is not guilty of murder.

"It is conceivable that [the killers] did it without telling you exactly when and how," Glynn told the defendant. "But you can't say, `I wished it, proposed it, negotiated it and the objects of my affection carried it out, but it's not my fault.'"

He found her guilty of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

Leroy Lincoln Sr. was found Feb. 27, 1995, in his apartment in the 3500 block of E. Northern Parkway.

Police have accused Ulrich, 27, of striking the first blow that killed him. Ulrich was a longtime friend of Leroy Lincoln Jr.

During the three-day trial, two of the Lincolns' daughters testified, with one saying her mother conspired to kill her father. The daughter, Tia Whitehead, told the court that she had consulted a psychic who may have implicated Geralene Lincoln in the killing.

Beverly Lincoln, the other daughter who testified, said her father molested a sister -- who has since died -- and tried to molest her.

Police didn't charge anyone in the killing for seven years, until they received a tip last year that pointed to Geralene Lincoln.

In a taped statement to police, Geralene Lincoln said that her husband was "dirty and mean," as well as "rotten to the core."

After he died, she told her family that she wanted to flush his ashes down the toilet, testimony showed.

Lincoln decided to keep Brown as her lawyer after telling the judge Monday that the attorney was neglecting her case.

After the killing, Lincoln collected $20,000 on a life insurance policy and moved to North Carolina. She had told police she believed that his policy was worth $100,000, according to her taped statement.

Mother and son were arrested last October, and have been held without bail in the Baltimore City Detention Center since November.

They are scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 5.

John Ulrich's trial is to begin next week.

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