Courtroom feud erupts at hearing

Sentencing rescheduled for man who shot boy, 10

October 18, 2003|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

The courtroom bickering surrounding the case of Perry Spain -- the man who was found guilty this year of shooting a 10-year-old in the neck -- continued yesterday as Spain's sentencing hearing was postponed in Baltimore Circuit Court.

In a heated 20-minute exchange, prosecutor Roger Harris and defense lawyer Warren A. Brown argued, and even Judge Shirley M. Watts got in a dig, implying that Brown hadn't paid a court bill.

The case has been an attention-grabber since the wounding July 15 last year of Tevin Davis by a stray bullet in West Baltimore. The crime happened during a surge in violence in the city, and resulted in State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy and Mayor Martin O'Malley publicly criticizing each other.

Spain's sentencing was rescheduled for Thursday at Brown's request. Spain could be sentenced to up to 55 years in prison after being convicted of attempted murder, assault and handgun charges.

An agitated Harris told the judge yesterday it was "inappropriate" for Brown to ask for a postponement. Brown responded, saying Harris initially didn't oppose the postponement and lied when he said he did.

Brown told the judge that before he could proceed with the sentencing hearing, he wanted the transcript from the trial. Brown was supposed to have had the transcript weeks ago, but he said it wasn't ready.

"I understand you didn't have the transcript because you didn't pay for it," Watts told Brown. Brown denied that he was late in paying his bill.

Spain's first trial last year ended in a hung jury, with 11 of 12 jurors voting to acquit him. In August, Spain waived his right to a jury trial, and Watts decided the case, finding Spain guilty.

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