City man sentenced to life plus 29 years in 2004 killing


A Baltimore man convicted of killing a man at a carryout chicken restaurant was sentenced yesterday to life plus 29 years in prison.

Martin Michael Morgan, 18, of the 3000 block of Thorndale Ave. was found guilty last month by a city jury of first-degree murder and other crimes despite the refusal of a witness to testify.

Prosecutors said that on March 12, 2004, Morgan and James Earl Murphy, 30, of the 6900 block of Fieldcrest Road burst into Pimlico Fried Chicken in the 3700 block of W. Belvedere Ave. and fatally shot Wade Walker, 32, and wounded another man.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in yesterday's Maryland section should have said that charges filed against Martin Michael Morgan, 18, had been dropped in a nonfatal shooting case in March 2004. The Sun regrets the error.

Murphy pleaded guilty in January 2005 to second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder and was sentenced to 30 years. Prosecutors said Murphy did not agree as part of the plea deal to testify against Morgan, but they called him to the witness stand anyway. Murphy refused to answer questions and at one point became irate with the judge. Watts held him in contempt of court.

Murphy was indicted this month on that charge. If he is convicted, the judge can impose any sentence that is not considered cruel and unusual.

Morgan was also scheduled to stand trial in another case, the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old March 6, 2004, in the 3700 block of Beehler Ave. but prosecutors said they dropped those charges yesterday in light of his sentence in the Walker case.

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