Crime Watch

October 04, 2007

Man draws 2 life terms plus 25 years for murder

A 31-year-old Baltimore man was sentenced yesterday to two life sentences plus 25 years in prison for a shooting death in June 2004.

In July, a city jury convicted Elliott McClain of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and handgun charges in the death of Tidell Harris, 23, on Hazel Street in Curtis Bay. Circuit Judge Robert Kershaw sentenced McClain, of the 5200 block of St. Charles Ave., to the maximum prison time allowed under the law for those convictions.

McClain's co-defendant, Kevin Fletcher, is serving a sentence of life plus 20 years, which was handed down after he reneged on a plea agreement. Fletcher, 20, had agreed to testify against McClain but refused to take the witness stand at a pretrial hearing. Then, during McClain's trial, Fletcher's court testimony was inconsistent with his taped police confession, which was played in court.

Had he cooperated, Fletcher was to have received a sentence of life in prison, with all but 25 years suspended.

Julie Bykowicz

Police say girl had knife in school

A 16-year-old girl was arrested and charged with bringing a knife to school and threatening to harm a classmate at Harford Technical High School in Bel Air, authorities said.

The Harford County Sheriff's Office said the girl -- who had had been having a disagreement with a 15-year-old student -- arrived at the school with a kitchen knife Tuesday morning. Before homeroom period, the girl gave her purse to a school employee, held the knife and said she was planning to harm another student, authorities said.

The employee followed the student down a hallway, yelling at her to drop the knife, and then wrested it from her, the sheriff's office said in a news release. Sheriff's deputies arrested the girl and charged her as a juvenile with attempted first-degree assault, reckless endangerment, possession of a deadly weapon on school property and disturbance of school operations, authorities said.

Authorities did not release her name because she was charged as a juvenile. She was released to her parents, and her case was referred to the Department of Juvenile Services.

School officials said the punishment for bringing a weapon to school is an automatic 10-day suspension, after which the schools superintendent will decide whether the student can return to class.

Gus G. Sentementes and Mary Gail Hare

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