An Anne Arundel County jury convicted a Glen Burnie man yesterday of what prosecutors called the "execution" of a longtime acquaintance to whom he owed money for a car.
Todd Alan Poorman, 28, will have to serve at least five years in prison on handgun violations and faces up to another 10 years for manslaughter in the Nov. 4, 2005 fatal shooting of Michael Leo Rousseaux, 28, of Severna Park.
Assistant State's Attorney Fred Paone contended that Rousseaux went to Poorman's townhouse, where the two began arguing over several thousand dollars Poorman might have owed him for a Lincoln Navigator. Rouseaux, who knew Poorman for 20 years, was shot seven times, including once in the temple.
Poorman contended that he disarmed Rousseaux and killed him in self-defense. Police questioned Poorman the night of the killing and released him; he was not charged until September.
"We feel that it sends a message to the community that when you are in defense of your own person and your own home, you have to worry about the number of times you fire a weapon and how you protect yourself," said Jonathan H. Shoup, lead defense attorney.
He and lawyer Robin K. Henley said they will ask Circuit Judge Paul A. Hackner - who on Monday threw out a second-degree murder charge - not to imprison Poorman beyond the mandatory handgun sentence. Sentencing is scheduled for May 11.
The verdict, coming after about 5 1/2 hours of deliberations in the weeklong trial, left Rousseaux's and Poorman's families in tears.
"I am at peace with the verdict," said Sheila Rousseaux, the victim's mother. But she noted that it does not end the heartbreak over her son's death. She said that a week after her son was slain, she met with Poorman's mother and gave her flowers.
"We consoled each other. We had a mother-to-mother talk," she said. "My heart goes out to her and her family."