Man gets life in inmate killing


February 01, 2007|By Andrea F. Siegel

A 20-year prisoner who disemboweled a fellow inmate in gang warfare but maintained he acted in self-defense was sentenced yesterday to life in prison without the possibility of parole by an Anne Arundel County judge.

Kenneth Lawrence Higgins, 37, described by prosecutors as a "five-star general" in the Bloods gang, asked Circuit Judge Paul A. Hackner for a suspended sentence so he could run prison programs.

Higgins, who was serving 35 years for rape and related crimes at the Maryland House of Correction Annex in Jessup, was convicted last month of the January 2005 fatal stabbing of Brian Wilson, 21. He was serving four years and a day for drug dealing and assault.

Higgins pleaded for understanding of the difficulties of staying alive in the atmosphere of prison violence.

Referring to the slaying last July of a correctional officer at the Maryland House of Correction, he said: "If it's not safe for correctional officer, how could it be safe for me?"

Hackner said although he thought Maryland's prisons need improvement and programs for inmates, Higgins' record of violence suggested he would not stay out of trouble if released.

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