Crime Watch

CRIME WATCH

August 30, 2008

Teen doesn't take plea in deaths of his family

The deadline for filing a motion that a Cockeysville teenager accused of killing his parents and younger brothers is not criminally responsible for the deaths came and went yesterday without any paperwork being filed by lawyers representing Nicholas W. Browning. Baltimore County Circuit Judge Thomas J. Bollinger set yesterday as the deadline for defense attorneys to file a motion of their intent to argue that the 16-year-old is not criminally responsible - Maryland's equivalent of an insanity plea - in the fatal shootings of his family. By yesterday afternoon, the judge had not received any such motion, his staff said. Lawyers handling the case cannot comment on it because of a gag order imposed by the judge. Browning is accused of killing his parents, John and Tamara Browning, and his brothers, Gregory, 14, and Benjamin, 11, in the early-morning hours of Feb. 2 as they slept in their Cockeysville home.

Jennifer McMenamin

Dispute delays appeals in killings of 3 children

Legal arguments in the appeals of two men convicted in the grisly killings of three children have been postponed until a dispute between their lawyers and the state is resolved relating to jury notes in their second trial. The Maryland Court of Special Appeals had scheduled Sept. 4 arguments for the appeals of Adan Canela, 21, and Policarpio Espinoza, 26, who were convicted in August 2006 of killing their three young relatives in Baltimore. One of the children was beheaded, and the other two were nearly decapitated. The case has been sent back to Baltimore Circuit Court for a hearing to resolve a dispute between the state and defense attorneys about whether certain jury notes received by the court were communicated to defense counsel during the trial, said Leslie Gradet, clerk for the Court of Special Appeals. Canela and Espinoza are serving life in prison without possibility of parole in the deaths of 8-year-old Lucero Espinoza, her brother, 9-year-old Ricardo Espinoza Jr., and Lucero's 10-year-old male cousin, Alexis Espejo Quezada, who were murdered in an apartment in May 2004.

Associated Press

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