Man found guilty of murder attempt

22-year-old burglary suspect fired on county police officers in February

October 29, 2006|By Tyrone Richardson | Tyrone Richardson,sun reporter

A 22-year-old Columbia man faces the possibility of 30 years in prison after being convicted of attempted second-degree murder for firing an assault rifle at Howard County SWAT officers during an investigation of his home this year.

Sentencing for Delcarlos Johnnie Jacobs is scheduled for Nov. 30.

After more than eight hours of deliberations Wednesday and Thursday, a jury found Jacobs guilty of attempted second-degree murder against one SWAT officer, and guilty of assault and reckless endangerment against 14 other members of the team. The jury found Jacobs not guilty of attempted first-degree murder.

Prosecutors told jurors in Howard County Circuit Court last week that Jacobs was standing in the parking lot of his brother's apartment complex in the 5900 block of Turnabout Lane - where Jacobs was living at the time - on Feb. 1. Prosecutors said Jacobs was armed with an M-1 carbine semiautomatic assault rifle, looking for police.

Police were to serve a search warrant of the apartment in their investigation of a burglary involving Jacobs and his brother, Kennith Alonzo Jacobs, according to charging documents.

"He was prepared to shoot at and kill a Howard County Police Department officer," said Assistant State's Attorney James Dietrich, who alleged that Jacobs later fired a single bullet at the county's SWAT team as it approached him. SWAT officers fired 29 rounds at Jacobs but did not hit him, Dietrich said.

During the trial, excerpts from Jacobs' police interrogation were played. During the interview, Jacobs told investigators that he did not point the gun at SWAT officers.

"That's gonna get me killed," he told investigators.

Jacobs' defense lawyers contended that their client did not fire on police - noting that police were unable to recover a bullet or shell casing from the scene.

"There is no reason if the gun was fired that they did not find the shell casing," said Jenny Park, a public defender.

Park also said police gave different versions of what happened at the parking lot. According to court charging documents, five police officers said they "either heard Jacobs fire at them or saw the muzzle flash from his weapon as they approached."

Prosecutors said Jacobs was prepared and shot the rifle at officers and that the absence of evidence at the scene did not mean the rifle was not used.

"The shell casing was not recovered, but there were casings from the tactical unit that were not found either," said Assistant State Prosecutor Kim Oldham.

Kennith Jacobs pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree burglary in August. He is scheduled for sentencing Nov. 9.

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