Crime Watch

CRIME WATCH

April 11, 2006

Man pleads guilty to June assault

Leeander Jerome Blake, a freed suspect in a high-profile 2002 Annapolis carjacking and murder, pleaded guilty last week to second-degree assault, a charge that stemmed from a June incident involving a former girlfriend.

Judge Joseph S. Casula, a Prince George's County magistrate who heard the case at the request of the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, sentenced Blake, 20, to a six-year suspended prison sentence, three years' probation and psychological treatment, and required that he complete an anger management course.

"We hope that Mr. Blake realizes that the suspended time will be imposed if he violates the probation," said Kristin Riggin, a spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County state's attorney.

The assault charge stemmed from a June 30 incident at a house where he was staying in the Robinwood public housing community. In court documents, Blake's former girlfriend wrote that after she rebuffed his attempts to talk with her, he followed her down a street and "harassed" her. He took her cell phone, threw it on the ground, pulled two necklaces off her neck and ripped a bracelet from her wrist, the document said.

Blake and Terrence Tolbert of Annapolis were charged earlier in connection with the 2002 carjacking-murder of Straughan Lee Griffin, an Annapolis businessman. Blake was freed after Maryland courts found that Annapolis police violated his rights when they initially questioned him.

Tolbert was convicted of first-degree murder and is serving life without parole plus 30 years. The U.S. attorney's office is considering federal charges against Blake.

Annie Linskey and Andrea F. Siegel

Body found in Crownsville

Anne Arundel County police are awaiting the results of an autopsy on a body found yesterday afternoon in a wooded area in Crownsville.

There was no obvious evidence of foul play, and police had not made an identification, they said.

Officers found the body in a ravine about 2:30 p.m. after someone reported finding personal items in the woods off Woodsman Way in the Ridges community.

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