Drug-linked firebombing draws 15-year sentence

September 01, 2006|By Brent Jones | Brent Jones,sun reporter

A 24-year-old Baltimore man who admitted his role in the firebombing of a North Baltimore community leader's home was sentenced yesterday to 15 years in federal prison.

Cedrick Bowman expressed remorse in court to the family of Edna McAbier for his part in the Jan 15, 2005, attack on the Harwood home of the community activist. Bowman, along with at least six others, firebombed Mc- Abier's house because of her reports to police of illegal drug activity in the neighborhood.

McAbier, who had been a fixture in court during previous proceedings, was absent yesterday. Bowman, however, used his time to issue a two-sentence apology.

Lawyers from both sides say Bowman had known McAbier since he was a child.

"I feel remorse for Ms. McAbier for trying to hurt or harm her. And that's it," Bowman said.

U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz accepted the plea agreement reached in June when Bowman admitted using explosives and conspiring to commit witness tampering.

Those involved threw lighted Molotov cocktails onto McAbier's home, but she was uninjured and the house sustained minimal damage. The case came at a time when witness intimidation was of major concern to police and prosecutors.

Three others involved in the firebombing were sentenced to lengthy prison terms, including Terrence Smith, the leader, who received 80 years. Smith, along with Nakie Harris and Richard Royal, were tried and convicted in February.

Two more defendants, Andre Wilkins and Jackie Brewington, have pleaded guilty and await sentencing. Another defendant, Shakia Watkins, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit witness tampering and was sentenced to four years in prison.


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