Columbia man gets two life terms in two killings

January 24, 2009|By Don Markus

A Columbia man convicted of killing two people in separate incidents less than a month apart in 2007 was sentenced yesterday to consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole. Howard County Circuit Judge Diane O. Leasure also sentenced Charles Richardson IV to 20 more years in each of the cases for using a handgun to commit a felony.

Richardson, 25, was convicted in October in the April 26, 2007, killing of Alevtina Zhilina during a robbery of the 7-Eleven store in Columbia where the victim worked. He also was convicted of killing Trae Allen in Richardson's townhouse in the 5200 block of Brook Way on May 21.

The judge said Richardson has a "total disregard for human life."

Richardson killed Zhilina, a native of Belarus, after a brief struggle during a botched robbery. Allen was shot in the face four times after declining Richardson's suggestion that he use Richardson's gun to kill someone.

Yesterday, Allen's aunt said that the murder devastated his mother, Melinda Daniels, to the point that she drove to the courthouse but could not bring herself to enter the courtroom and face her son's killer.

"I just want him to know that he has destroyed our family," said the aunt, Rhonda McKinney.

Toward the end of the proceeding, Richardson said apologizing to Allen's family would not help. "You say sorry when you bump into someone," he said. "They've got to be mad."

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