Man pleads guilty in assault on brother

Sierrah attacked sibling for disrespecting mother

December 03, 2003|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,SUN STAFF

A 42-year-old Columbia man accused of shooting his younger brother for disrespecting their mother -- and then smacking him in the face as he lay wounded -- pleaded guilty yesterday to first-degree assault as part of an agreement with prosecutors.

Martin K. Sierrah of the 5100 block of Flowertuft Court in Wilde Lake village faces a maximum of 25 years in prison on the assault conviction when he returns to Howard Circuit Court for sentencing Feb. 12.

He was indicted in September on charges of attempted second-degree murder, assault and other charges stemming from the shooting at his house Aug. 24.

Sierrah's attorney, Holly D. Reed III, and the deputy state's attorney, Dario J. Broccolino, indicated yesterday that extenuating circumstances led to the plea deal. Reed said in court that Sierrah's family was "anxious" to have the case resolved.

Reed and Broccolino also noted in court that the home where the shooting occurred -- which is owned by Sierrah and where his mother lives -- faces foreclosure because he has been imprisoned since August on bail set at $500,000.

Judge Lenore R. Gelfman said she needed more information about Sierrah before sentencing. She ordered a pre-sentencing investigation, a psychological examination, and alcohol and drug tests on Sierrah.

Sierrah is accused of shooting his brother, Chad V. Hall, 32, in the left thigh after having "had enough of his brother's lack of respect for him and his mother," according to police charging documents.

He told investigators that he heard his brother come home and begin to show disrespect for his mother, Greer Hall, 60. He then got his loaded .38-caliber revolver and shot his brother in the dining room, stood over him as he fell to the floor and struck him in the face, charging documents said.

The shooting apparently culminated a simmering dispute at the home that morning. Police responded there more than an hour before the shooting to a call about an argument between a mother and her two sons, said charging documents.

According to the documents, the mother and Sierrah told police that they wanted Chad Hall removed from the home. Police tried to encourage one of the two brothers to leave the home. Fifteen minutes after the officers left, the younger brother was shot.

Police returned to the home and found Hall lying in the dining room. Police also found a gun in a bedroom with five live rounds, one spent round and a spent shell on the steps in the foyer, the charging documents stated.

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