Baltimore County Digest

Baltimore County Digest

April 28, 2006

Driver of getaway car gets 90-day sentence

The brother of the convicted "wheelman" in the fatal shooting last year at Towson Town Center was sentenced yesterday to 90 days in jail for his role as the getaway driver in an armed robbery the night before the mall shooting.

Lavar Durant Clark, 20, of Middle River, pleaded guilty in March to being an accessory after the fact to armed robbery. He admitted driving the getaway car in a shotgun holdup Feb. 17, 2005, in Overlea with John Edward Kennedy Jr., the convicted shooter in the Towson mall killing.

The Overlea robbery occurred the night before Kennedy, and Javon Clark used the same shotgun to try to rob a private school educator, who was killed in a parking garage at Towson Town. Kennedy, 19, the shooter, was convicted of first-degree felony murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Javon Clark, 19, the getaway driver, was convicted of attempted armed robbery and sentenced to 20 years in prison.

In court yesterday, defense attorney Brian Murphy asked Baltimore County Circuit Judge Vicki Ballou-Watts to show leniency on Lavar Clark, considering his limited role in the Overlea robbery.

"It's quite possible that he was simply along for the ride," Murphy told the judge. "John Kennedy was the active participant in this crime as John Kennedy was the active participant in what was the crime of the decade, at least in this courthouse."

After Kennedy was sentenced to life in prison in the Towson Town case, prosecutors dismissed the charges against him in the Overlea robbery.

The third man involved in that crime, Bernard Woodfork, 22, of Middle River, pleaded guilty to armed robbery and was sentenced in February to five years in prison, with all but 18 months suspended, prosecutors said.

Lavar Clark was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison with all but 90 days suspended. Ballou-Watts said she will recommend to the county detention center that the sentence be served on home detention or work release, but that the decision is up to officials at the jail.

Jennifer McMenamin

Towson University

Caret withdraws candidacy at Temple

Towson University President Robert L. Caret said yesterday he has withdrawn as a candidate for the presidency at Temple University in Philadelphia.

The Philadelphia Inquirer had reported yesterday that Caret was one of two finalists in consideration to replace David Adamany, who will step down as president on June 30. But Caret, who is in his third year as president at Towson, said he withdrew "several days ago."

"I'm no longer in the search," he said. "It was an interesting campus. The headhunter was someone I knew, but I did my own soul-searching." said Caret, who served in various roles at Towson for 21 years before becoming president at San Jose State University in California.

Towson is "one of the healthiest campuses I've ever seen," he said, "and we're on a roll right now. We're getting the political and financial support that we need."

Kristi Funderburk

School board

Borunda advised to step down

A Baltimore County school board member who resigned this week after being appointed Maryland's deputy secretary of state was advised to step down to avoid potential or perceived conflicts of interest, a spokesman for the governor's office said yesterday.

Luis E. Borunda, 47, a businessman and Hispanic community leader, was advised of the possible problem by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.'s counsel, said spokesman Henry Fawell. The office of legal counsel consulted with the state ethics commission, Fawell said.

Borunda said he wanted to remain on the board but also worried that with the new job he wouldn't be able to dedicate enough time to the role of school board member.

The Essex resident, who represented the southeastern part of Baltimore County on the board, had served for nearly two years. He was the chairman of an ad hoc committee that recommended changes to the school system's calendar.

Ehrlich had appointed Borunda to the school board in 2004. The governor will name his replacement.

Liz F. Kay


2 charged with stealing gasoline, car

Two women were arrested and charged with stealing gasoline from a service station and items from a department store and then fleeing in a stolen car, according to documents released by county police yesterday.

Two women drove off without paying for about $50 of gasoline from a Hess station in the 9700 block of York Road in Cockeysville about 9:40 a.m. Wednesday, according to court documents. After a brief pursuit by police, the women were caught in a stolen car with stolen razor blades from a Target in the 9900 block of York Road in Timonium, according to the documents.

Police charged Ann Elizabeth Sabatino, of the 300 block of Holly Hill Road in Reisterstown, and Nickol Lisa Engle, of the first block of Trade Wind Circle in Cockeysville, with multiple counts of theft and motor vehicle theft, police said.

Nick Shields

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