Man on trial in fatal shooting pleads guilty

April 23, 2004|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF

Cutting short his Baltimore County murder trial, a Baltimore man has pleaded guilty to shooting a man in the back during a botched robbery in June in Owings Mills.

Reginald J. Manning, 23, told his public defender Wednesday afternoon not to cross-examine one of the state's witnesses and not to present any defense witnesses, said the attorney, Spencer Gordon.

Manning agreed to a sentence of life in prison, with the possibility of parole, for the first-degree murder charge. He also accepted 20 years in prison for a handgun charge.

"He didn't want me to aggressively defend him anymore," Gordon said.

Manning is one of four people charged with luring Donnie A. Joy Jr., 28, a Baltimore man, to Owings Mills on June 13. Prosecutors said the group meant to rob Joy of enough money to buy tickets to a Six Flags amusement park in Largo.

Larry Ervin Jackson, 20, of Baltimore is also charged and is scheduled for trial next month. Two women, Nicole M. Mongelli, 19, of Westminster and Chantiece R. Koromah, 19, of Baltimore, have pleaded guilty to robbery with a deadly and dangerous weapon. They agreed to testify against Manning and Jackson, and will be sentenced later, prosecutors said.

Koromah was about to be cross-examined by Gordon when Manning told him to stop the trial, the attorney said.

"He cares about her and didn't want to see her cross-examined in any way," the public defender said.

Manning's trial began Monday. By late Wednesday afternoon, he had switched his plea to guilty and had been sentenced by Baltimore County Circuit Judge Lawrence R. Daniels.

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