New Award Honors Court Witnesses

July 18, 2009|By Tricia Bishop | Tricia Bishop,

On Friday, the same day two more people were sentenced for the contract killing of her son, Margaret Shipley was given the first of what's to be an annual award named after him.

The Lackl Award honors victims or witnesses whose "extraordinary fortitude and perseverance ensures that justice prevails," Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein said in a statement.

Shipley's son, Carl Stanley Lackl, agreed to testify in a murder case despite grave personal risks, and he was killed for it two years ago.

Eight people have been convicted in Lackl's death, and seven of them sentenced, including Patrick Byers, who used a contraband cell phone in prison to order Lackl's murder. Byers was sentenced to four consecutive life terms. On Friday, co-defendant Frank Goodman, who hired Lackl's killers on Byers' behalf, was sentenced to two life terms as Shipley looked on.

"He will be in prison for the rest of his life," U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Bennett said later in the day, during the sentencing of Tammy Graham. Both she and Goodman had no prior criminal records, though they received different sentences.

Graham, who pleaded guilty to lying to law enforcement, was given a "time served" sentence. She spent 41/2 months in a Baltimore County detention center on state murder charges that were ultimately dropped after it was determined she wasn't involved in the actual act. The judge noted the "substantial assistance" she provided to prosecutors. The case's final defendant, the teenage shooter, is set to be sentenced in August.

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