In The Region

IN THE REGION

November 20, 2008

Baltimore man convicted of second-degree murder

A 23-year-old Northeast Baltimore man was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday in the death of Jamal Hill. This was the second trial for Issac Smith of the 5600 block of Carter Ave. The state's second-highest court overturned the original first-degree murder conviction on a technicality. Baltimore Circuit Judge John C. Themelis had not asked potential jurors in 2004 whether they had any racial bias against the defendant. Prosecutor Paul O'Connor and Detective John Riddick were able to locate all of their witnesses for the second trial. Baltimore Circuit Judge Charles G. Bernstein said that the jury had reported being deadlocked 11-1 on first-degree murder. After listening to a recording of some testimony and deliberating again, the jury returned with a second-degree murder conviction. At sentencing and after the jury had left the courtroom, Bernstein said that he believed Smith was guilty of first-degree murder. He then gave Smith the maximum penalty.

Melissa Harris

Charges dropped in case of man who testified

Howard County prosecutors dropped charges Tuesday against a Prince George's County man charged with accessory after the fact in exchange for testimony he provided during a murder trial against his brother last month, according to the county state's attorney's office. William Arin Richardson, 23, of Hyattsville did not attend Tuesday's hearing because he was incarcerated in Prince George's County on unrelated matters, said Wayne Kirwan, spokesman for the Howard state's attorney's office. Richardson provided testimony last month in the first-degree murder trial of his older brother, Charles David Richardson IV, who was later convicted. Prosecutors had said William Richardson helped his brother dispose of evidence after one of the killings.

Tyeesha Dixon

Police seek Harford boy, mother missing 14 days

Maryland State Police are looking for a 6-year-old Harford County boy and his mother who have been missing for two weeks, authorities said Tuesday. George Nick Houzouris, 6, was reportedly taken from his school in Bel Air on Nov. 5 by his mother, Silvia Stoimenova Houzouris, 44, of the 900 block of Araby Court in Bel Air, the boy's father, Nick Houzouris, told police. Houzouris said the boy has not been seen since by members of his family. State police said they are "actively looking" for the pair, whom they believe to be in this country. Police said they don't think the pair are in Maryland, however. The mother and the father, who lives in Churchville, are separated but have joint custody of the boy.

David Kohn

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