4th teen to be tried as adult in attack

Man severely beaten near Patterson Park

November 08, 2007|By Julie Bykowicz and Gus G. Sentementes | Julie Bykowicz and Gus G. Sentementes,Sun reporters

A ruling yesterday by a Baltimore circuit judge ensures that all four teenagers accused in the robbery and near-fatal beating of Zachary Sowers this summer near his Patterson Park home will be tried as adults rather than as juveniles.

City police and prosecutors said that Eric Price was 16 when he stood by as another 16-year- old, Trayvon Ramos, kicked and stomped Sowers. Two other teens stayed in the car, authorities said.

During a hearing yesterday, Anna Sowers said Price "knowingly left my husband in a pool of blood" and therefore was just as culpable for the attack.

Ramos must be treated as an adult because he pleaded guilty in September to a carjacking in Cecil County and is serving a five-year prison sentence for that crime.

Price's attorney argued at yesterday's hearing that his client's history of attention-deficit disorder and other behavior-related symptoms of lead-paint poisoning were among the reasons he should be considered a juvenile rather than an adult.

Prosecutors disagreed, saying that Price is a threat to public safety and is not appropriate for juvenile court, which focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment. All sentences in juvenile court end when the detainee reaches age 21.

The June 2 attack on Sowers, a 28-year-old financial analyst at the Johns Hopkins University, shook residents in Southeast Baltimore because of its viciousness and apparent randomness. Sowers was assaulted and robbed as he walked home from a bar in Canton at night. He remains hospitalized and in a coma.

Sowers' wife, family and friends have held fundraisers to help cover the cost of medical care and have used a Web site to disseminate updates on his condition and prognosis.

Yesterday's hearing followed a juvenile transfer hearing last month for suspect Arthur Jeter, who was a month short of his 18th birthday when the attack occurred. Judge Roger W. Brown refused to send Jeter to juvenile court.

The fourth suspect, Wilburt Martin was 18 at the time of the incident, making him ineligible to be transferred to juvenile court.

All four are scheduled for trial next month in Circuit Court.

Details emerged yesterday about other attacks in which the four are accused.

The day after the Sowers beating, a woman was robbed at gunpoint a few blocks east of Patterson Park. Prosecutors said the four organized the robbery moments after being introduced to the woman.

Prosecutors said that Price pointed a gun at the woman as she stood on her porch on Claremont Avenue and demanded money, and when she resisted he put the gun to her head until she relented.

julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com gus.sentementes@baltsun.com

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