Carjacking killer could get life term without parole at sentencing tomorrow

February 23, 2005|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Terrence Tolbert, convicted last month of first-degree murder and related counts in the high-profile fatal carjacking-shooting of an Annapolis businessman in 2002, faces a possible sentence of life without parole when he appears before an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge tomorrow.

Prosecutors have said they intend to seek the no-parole prison term, but Tolbert's lawyer has said he is hoping for a shorter sentence from Judge Ronald A. Silkworth.

Tolbert, 22, contended that his alleged accomplice acted alone in killing Straughan Lee Griffin, 51, in September 2002, as Griffin unloaded his sport utility vehicle in front of his home in the Historic District of Annapolis.

Tolbert is widely known around Annapolis because he lost an arm in an electrical transformer accident as a child, leading to an outpouring of community support.

His alleged accomplice, Leeander Jerome Blake, 19, remains free after a Court of Appeals ruling that his statement to police was inadmissible because he had asked for a lawyer. That ended his case unless the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear Maryland's appeal and rules in favor of prosecutors.

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