2 brothers plead guilty in fatal fight in a Ferndale park

July 30, 2004|By Liz F. Kay | Liz F. Kay,SUN STAFF

Two brothers pleaded guilty yesterday to charges stemming from a fight in a Ferndale park in February that left one man dead and another seriously wounded.

William Russell Ross, 21, of Ridgely was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Roger Jefferson Harrison, 20, who was stabbed in Pleasantville Park in Ferndale. Ross pleaded guilty to manslaughter under the terms of his plea agreement, said Assistant State's Attorney Kelly M. Poma.

His brother, Bryan Francis Ross Jr., 23, had been charged with attempted second-degree murder in the stabbing of John Wesley Tomer III, 21, who survived stab wounds to the upper body. Yesterday, the charge was reduced to first-degree assault as part of a plea agreement, Poma said.

The men will be sentenced Sept. 15. In accordance with the arrangement, Judge Nancy Davis-Loomis agreed to limit to five years the amount of time the two men will spend in prison, Poma said.

According to the statement of facts, Poma said the victims and their friends had agreed to fight the defendants and their friends at Pleasantville Park on Feb. 12. But multiple statements given by those involved contradicted themselves and one another, Poma said.

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