Defendant says 1 assailant fatally beat Arundel teen

April 12, 2005|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

One of six men accused of killing a Pasadena teenager in a fight last summer told authorities that a lone assailant delivered the apparently fatal attack after the victim was on the ground and said, "I've had enough."

The account, given by Joshua David Bradley, a defendant offered immunity from prosecution, implicates 19-year-old Jacob Fortney of manslaughter in the death of Noah Jamahl Jones, Fortney's lawyers said at a pretrial hearing yesterday. That version differs from another account that describes a group assault, they said.

Bradley said he and another defendant were not near Jones, Fortney's lawyers said. Bradley told officials that three other defendants had already "backed up and gotten away from Jones" when Fortney assaulted the youth, said David W. Fischer, one of Fortney's lawyers.

Fortney's lawyers gave the summary as they asked Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Joseph P. Manck to force prosecutors to settle on one version of what happened July 24. Fischer said he needs prosecutors to pick an account so the defense can map a strategy for the trial, scheduled to start May 5.

Jones, 17, a rising senior at Northeast High School, died of head injuries. Members of the community are closely watching the case because of its racial component. Jones and his friends who arrived at the house where the incident occurred were black; those charged are white.

Manck did not say when he would rule.

Besides Bradley and Fortney, of Pasadena, the other defendants are Scott E. Burton Jr., 19; Gregory M. Florentino, 21, also of Pasadena; David Michael George, 20, of Glen Burnie; and Richard Elbert McLeod, 19, of Chestertown. Only Fortney's trial has been scheduled.

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