City/county Digest

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

February 25, 2006

City man, 30, convicted for possession of child porn

A 30-year-old Baltimore man was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison yesterday for downloading and storing images of child pornography on his office computer, according to a statement issued by the U.S. attorney's office.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Bennett also sentenced Richard Schildtknecht to one year of home detention and five years of supervised probation, prosecutors said. He pleaded guilty Dec. 14 after federal authorities said they found on his computer three images of children engaging in sex acts.

As part of his plea agreement, Schildtknecht admitted to downloading at least 50 such images of children, in addition to adult pornography, over the past several years. Schildtknecht works for the Ferguson Corporation, an automotive parts company in Homeland where he oversaw the company's computer network and Internet account, prosecutors said.

George Ferguson, the company's owner, said he appeared in court as a character witness on behalf of Schildtknecht, who still works there.

Ferguson said the worker was wrong to download pornography on the office computer, but added that he believed the sentence was too harsh. He described Schildtknecht as embarrassed.

The U.S. attorney's office said that the defendant was the 15th person sentenced in a child pornography case in the past year.

Baltimore: West side

Five residents hurt in rowhouse fire

Five occupants of a West Baltimore rowhouse - three of them children - were injured in a fire that broke out about 7 a.m. yesterday, a spokesman for the city Fire Department said. A firefighter also was hurt and was being treated at Mercy Medical Center. Fire Capt. James Gardner said the one-alarm fire in the 1800 block of Westwood Ave. was reported at 7:11 a.m. and was under control at 7:25 a.m. The spokesman said the children were taken to the University of Maryland Medical Center and the adults to Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Their ages and conditions were not available yesterday, but Gardner said none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening. A cause has not been determined.

Justice

Appeals court rules in favor of city

Maryland's Court of Special Appeals upheld yesterday a lower court ruling allowing Baltimore to avoid paying a multimillion-dollar jury judgment in the case of a former city police officer who killed a man he believed was having an affair with his wife. The court ruled that Rodney Price - who is serving a life term after pleading guilty in 2002 to killing Tristin D. Little Sr. with 21 bullets from his service weapon - "was not acting within the scope of his employment when he killed Little." With that determination, the court upheld a Baltimore Circuit Court judge's ruling that the city and the Police Department are not responsible for paying the $27 million verdict won by Little's family.

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