Man, 19, pleads guilty in city store shootout

Plea agreement comes after trial began

April 11, 2007|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,Sun reporter

Yesterday morning, on what was to have been his second day of his trial in Baltimore Circuit Court, Richard Keith Hardy III pleaded guilty to a convenience store robbery that turned into a bloody shootout.

The plea deal announced in court means that Hardy, 19, will be sentenced to life in prison, with all but 25 to 40 years suspended. He is to be sentenced in July.

Hardy was one of three men accused of holding up Keeper's Market in Belair-Edison on the afternoon of Jan. 4, 2006. When the store manager emerged with a gun of his own, Hardy opened fire, said Assistant State's Attorney William F. Cecil.

John Killian, 47, was shot 11 times. But Killian survived his wounds and was able to shoot Hardy and another robber, both of whom police and paramedics found near the store.

That other injured man, Darryl Z. Thames Jr., 19, also pleaded guilty and is to be sentenced in June. The third man accused in the crime, Devin Lamont Crawford, 19, is scheduled for trial next month.

With a city jury listening, Killian and his wife, Shelby, - the store owner - testified Monday about the terrifying shootout. Like Thames, Hardy pleaded guilty to charges of attempted first-degree murder and use of a handgun in a crime of violence.

julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com

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