Man to serve 5 years for firing at group

August 28, 2005|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

A 22-year-old Westminster man was ordered to serve five years in state prison for firing shots at a group outside the Bishop Garth Apartments during the 2004 Labor Day weekend.

Brian Joseph Hill, of no fixed address, was convicted in a plea bargain Monday in Carroll County Circuit Court on charges of assault, reckless endangerment and carrying a handgun.

Deputy State's Attorney Clarence W. Beall III said the police already had been to the scene for a racially tinged dispute late Sept. 3.

Hill's niece said that someone had used epithets against her, and Hill returned to the Westminster apartments just before 1 a.m. with a 9 mm handgun and began firing in the direction of a group at the curb.

Seven shell casings were retrieved, five from inside homes, Beall said. One bullet shattered glass, cutting a couple in the bedroom, while another penetrated a mattress where someone was sleeping in a second-floor bedroom.

"Thank God no one was seriously injured or killed," said Judge Michael M. Galloway, who imposed the agreed-upon 15-year sentence, with all but five years suspended. "When people start firing guns in the direction of other people or residences, the court is put in a position where there really is no other alternative than to impose a period of incarceration."

Hill declined to say anything or have his lawyer speak for him, said defense attorney Brian L. DeLeonardo.

Hill has been in the Carroll County Detention Center since Feb. 20, after being caught by Pennsylvania police during a traffic stop, Beall said. Hill was wanted on charges of attempted second-degree murder, assault, reckless endangerment and handgun violations.

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