Man pleads guilty in Glen Burnie homicide

Fellow homeless man was found dead in woods

April 28, 2004|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

A man described by his lawyers as mentally ill pleaded guilty yesterday to voluntary manslaughter in the death of a homeless man with whom he often shared a campsite in the woods of Glen Burnie.

Roger Lee Kronawetter, 41, entered an Alford plea before Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Pamela L. North, in which he did not admit guilt but acknowledged that prosecutors had evidence to convict him in the slaying of Martin David Dorsey.

Dorsey was 41 when other homeless people told police Aug. 28 that they found his body on a path in the woods.

Under the plea agreement, Kronawetter, a former marine repairman, is expected to be sentenced to 10 years in prison, the maximum, with six of those years suspended and five years of supervised probation. Before he is sentenced July 16, a report is to identify any psychiatric, alcohol and drug issues.

The day before Dorsey's body was found, the two men had been drinking and had three fights, said Kimberly T. DiPietro, an assistant state's attorney.

The prosecutor said Kronawetter accused Dorsey of stealing Kronawetter's medication and his blanket and of sleeping with his ex-wife, though DiPietro said investigators could not substantiate the allegations. Dorsey died of blunt-force blows and asphyxiation, she said.

Another homeless man told police that Kronawetter threatened to attack him if he told anyone about seeing Dorsey's body, DiPietro said.

Outside the courtroom, Frank C. Gray Jr., one of Kronawetter's lawyers, described his client's interwoven problems of mental illness, homelessness and drinking.

He said Kronawetter, who is in psychiatric care in jail, did not have ready access to psychiatric treatment and used alcohol and drugs.

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