June 25, 2008

City man gets life in killing of girlfriend

A 19-year-old Baltimore man was sentenced yesterday to life in prison plus eight years for the killing of his former girlfriend, city prosecutors said.

In May, a jury convicted Randy Golden of the 3600 block of Victor St. with first-degree murder and handgun violations in the fatal shooting of Melissa Stefanski, 23, who prosecutors said had begun selling drugs for her new boyfriend's gang, the Crips. Golden was a member of the Bloods, a rival gang, prosecutors said.

Golden shot Stefanski once in the back of the head in the 600 block of Washburn Ave. on Jan. 9, 2007, prosecutors said. Witnesses testified that Golden warned three people, including the victim's sisters, that he intended to kill Stefanski, according to prosecutors.

Circuit Judge Timothy J. Doory sentenced Golden to life for the killing and eight years on the handgun charges. Assistant State's Attorney Lisa Phelps prosecuted the case.

Melissa Harris


Circuit Court

Man gets 35 years in man's death

A Baltimore circuit judge has sentenced a 23-year-old Baltimore man to 35 years in prison for conspiring to assault an 18-year-old believed to have drowned in the Middle Branch of the Patapsco River in February 2005.

The victim's body was never found.

Judge Lynn K. Stewart sentenced Gary Froneberger of the 4700 block of Williston St. in Southwest Baltimore to 25 years in prison yesterday for conspiracy to commit first-degree assault and a consecutive 10 years for second-degree assault.

The sentence will begin after an eight-year term that Froneberger is serving on unrelated drug and gun charges, according to prosecutors.

In February, a Baltimore jury cleared Froneberger of first-degree murder charges. It was deadlocked on other charges, including second-degree murder, and convicted him of second-degree assault and conspiracy to commit first-degree assault.

During the trial, prosecutor Rita Wisthoff-Ito said that Froneberger and John Earl Linton, 25, who pleaded guilty to assault and conspiracy to commit assault and who testified for the prosecution, pushed the victim, Abdul Rahim Azzie, into the river after stripping him down to his boxer shorts.

Wisthoff-Ito told the jury that Froneberger continued to "hit the victim with a stick or hit around him," even after Linton told him to stop and Azzie begged for his life before disappearing under the water. Azzie's mother testified that her son couldn't swim well.

Melissa Harris

Howard County


Man guilty of theft from his employer

A Harford County man pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing more than $80,000 from the Howard County moving company for which he worked.

Timothy Alan Shipe, 40, of the 300 block of Seattle Slew Place in Havre de Grace pleaded guilty in Howard County Circuit Court to one count of theft scheme of more than $500. From January 2004 to August 2006, Shipe stole from the Kane Co., which operates a subsidiary called Office Movers in Elkridge, according to Howard County Senior Assistant State's Attorney Lynn Marshall.

Shipe stole money generated by a recycling program for unwanted metal office furniture, prosecutors said. Shipe was the manager of the company's Hunt Valley terminal.

According to payment records obtained by police and prosecutors, the recycling firm Baltimore Scrap paid more than $80,000 in cash to Office Movers drivers who reported to Shipe. Company officials say none of the money was delivered to the corporate office.

Shipe's banking records showed that between January 2004 and August 2006, more than $10,000 was deposited into his account. Shipe also paid cash for several thousand dollars' worth of golf equipment while working as the office manager, according to records.

Shipe, who is free on a $10,000 bond, is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 18, according to the Howard County state's attorney's office. Judge Richard S. Bernhardt also ordered a presentence investigation.

Shipe could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison on the charge, though state guidelines suggest a sentence ranging from probation to one year.

Tyeesha Dixon

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