Judge sentences Evans to life without parole

Essex man killed stepdaughter, set body on fire

November 22, 2006|By Jennifer McMenamin | Jennifer McMenamin,sun reporter

A 36-year-old convicted sex offender was sentenced yesterday to life in prison without parole for stabbing, strangling and beating to death his 13-year-old stepdaughter before setting her body and their family's Essex rowhouse on fire to cover up the killing.

Carl Preston Evans Jr., whose arrest in August 2005 highlighted problems with the state's sex offender registry, also received two consecutive 15-year prison terms, one for the attempted murder of his infant daughter and one for arson.

Baltimore County Circuit Judge Kathleen G. Cox, who pronounced sentence, characterized the killing as "a monstrous, monstrous crime," and pointed out that nothing Evans said, either in court or to an investigator who prepared a presentence report, has shed any light on his motive.

"The death of any child is tragic," Cox said. "To lose a child in the circumstances of this case, it's just unthinkable."

A Baltimore County jury convicted Evans in September of first-degree murder in the death of Breaunna Floyd, who was stabbed 24 times, strangled and beaten before being doused with gasoline and set on fire.

The jury also convicted Evans of arson for setting fire to the family's rowhouse on Foxridge Lane in Essex in July 2005 and of attempted second-degree murder for leaving then-7-month-old Mosett Evans in the burning house.

In a knapsack that Evans left in his front yard that day, police found two knives - one broken, both bloody - as well as a towel and T-shirt. DNA analysis indicated that the blood on all four items came from Breaunna.

With firefighters and paramedics on the way, Evans fled. He was arrested 11 days later near a relative's house in West Baltimore.

Evans told the judge that he needed to take responsibility for his actions but stopped short of acknowledging any guilt in the crimes.

"Sometimes you make some crazy mistakes," he said quietly, his voice barely audible in a courtroom filled with his wife's relatives. "It cost me big time. It cost me everything. It cost me my family, including family that's sitting here today."

One man seated in the courtroom muttered in response, "We're ain't your family."

The sentences capped a brief hearing during which relatives described the family's lingering grief over Breaunna's death. Also, Evans' attorney argued that prosecutors could not ask for a sentence of life without parole because they had not properly notified the defendant of their intention to do so.

Public defender Gary D. Schenker told the judge that although prosecutors had sent him notice, they did not send such paperwork to Evans himself, which, he said, the statute requires. The judge, however, ruled that case law seems to require written notice without specifying to whom it must be delivered.

The Rev. Hillary Gaston Sr., the uncle of Breaunna's mother, Kenya Evans, spoke in court on behalf of his relatives, telling the judge how Evans was welcomed into the family after his marriage to Kenya and characterizing the defendant's crimes as "a betrayal beyond any magnitude."

"It's very difficult," he said. "We have lost young people, but never this way."

Evans was convicted in 1991 of raping and beating a woman at gunpoint. His arrest in the killing of his stepdaughter shed light on problems with Maryland's sex offender registry. In the days after Breaunna's death, authorities discovered that Evans had failed for several years to update his address with the registry as required and that authorities did not seek him out to correct the errors.

Evans' criminal record also includes convictions for burglary and armed robbery.

During his rambling remarks to the judge, Evans expressed regret for never having explained his actions to his family.

"I do want to say I'm sorry," he said. "I brought this on my family."

But prosecutor Michael S. Fuller told the judge that Evans deserved "absolutely no consideration from this court for what he did."

"Everything he has done to this point has been a charade," he said. The prosecutor later added, "He's clearly a danger to society. He should never see the outside of prison walls again."

jennifer.mcmenamin@ baltsun.com

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