Inmate Begs To Be Freed

She Got Life For Arranging Murder Of Daughter-in-law

August 05, 2009|By Don Markus | Don Markus,don.markus@baltsun.com

During a 10-minute statement Tuesday in Howard County Circuit Court, Emilia D. Raras talked about how nearly a decade in jail has made her more religious and less angry.

The 73-year-old Baltimore County grandmother, who was sentenced in 2000 to life without parole for enlisting a co-worker to kill her daughter-in-law in November 1998, said she didn't want to die in prison.

"No person should die in prison," Raras said.

In a hearing to ask retired Judge Dennis Sweeney to reconsider the sentence he had given her, Raras apologized for the act she committed and said she hoped others would forgive her.

"Through the years in my solitude, I always think of Sara," Raras said of the woman she had had killed, Sara Williamson Raras. "She did not deserve to die. I am deeply sorry; I feel the same agony as the victim. ... I ask for forgiveness. I fervently pray that the family forgives me, too."

Then Raras made a statement that seemed to infuriate Assistant State's Attorney Mary Murphy.

"I forgive everyone, even Sara," Raras said.

Murphy said she was "vehemently" against Sweeney's cutting any jail time for Raras, who admitted at the time of the murder that she was upset with her daughter-in-law because of a contentious custody battle with her son, Lorenzo, over their son, Will.

Raras also said at the time that it was her intention that Ardale Tickles, who worked with her at a Baltimore County nursing home, only scare her daughter-in-law by throwing rocks through a window.

Tickles burst through a glass window and stabbed Sara Raras with a knife. He received a life sentence. He later told a fellow inmate that he had been hired by "an Asiatic black sister," leading police to Raras, who is from the Philippines.

While Raras' attorney, Michael Lawlor, said Tuesday that Raras' decision to enlist Tickles was the only misstep she had made in her life, Murphy argued that Raras knew exactly what she was doing. "This made it even worse of a crime," Murphy said.

Murphy later described Raras as "pure evil."

Sweeney said that he would give his ruling later.

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