Crownsville teen pleads guilty in killing of man, 23

November 13, 2008|By Julie Scharper | Julie Scharper,

The high school freshman from Crownsville and his friend's father met with the man who sold them crack, as they had many times before, but this time the boy had brought a gun, according to court testimony.

The man used that gun to shoot the dealer in head, then robbed him, pushed his body into the passenger seat and drove his car into the woods. The boy struck a match that reduced the gasoline-soaked car and body to a heap of burned metal and charred bones, according to court testimony.

Yesterday, Ross Ethan Womick, 16, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Krey Jermaine Green, 23, early in the morning of Oct. 27, 2007, in Crownsville.

Under the terms of the plea, Womick could be sentenced to a maximum of life in prison with all but 25 years suspended, but the boy's attorney, Carroll L. McCabe, said that she will ask for a shorter term at sentencing in the spring.

Wearing a dark button-down shirt, white Nikes and leg irons, the boy was subdued in court and answered a quiet "yes sir" when Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge William C. Mulford II asked him whether he understood the terms of the plea.

A hearing to determine whether Womick should be tried as an adult or a juvenile had been set for yesterday, but the plea was announced after lawyers, the boy and his family met privately to work out the terms of a deal.

The boy told the judge that he takes medication for depression that was prescribed during a two-week stay at Sheppard Pratt before he had been charged with the crime. He has some cognitive impairments, although a psychologist deemed him competent to stand trial, McCabe said.

The boy may be called to testify against his co-defendant, Wayne Lewis Milburn Sr., 43, although he is not required to by the terms of the plea. Milburn has been charged with first- and second-degree murder.

At yesterday's hearing, Assistant State's Attorney Laura S. Kiessling read from a transcript of a confession that the boy made to police. "I knew what was going to happen before we got there to meet Krey," he told police. "I knew the plan was to kill him and steal his drugs and money."

Womick had been a freshman at Old Mill High School and a friend of Milburn's son. The boy and the man smoked crack together daily and met Green in the parking lot of gas stations and supermarkets to buy drugs from him, according to court testimony.

Relatives of Green and Womick declined to speak with reporters after the hearing. Womick's father pressed his hands to his face and shook his head as the boy told the judge that he had agreed to plead guilty.

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