Arundel judge denies early release to man who killed archaeologist

December 02, 2009|By Andrea F. Siegel | andrea.siegel@baltsun.com

An Anne Arundel County judge refused Wednesday to give the killer of a woman who had befriended him a second chance to serve part of his sentence out of prison, saying that Christopher Perkins O'Brien was behind bars because he did not heed conditions of his previous release.

O'Brien asked to be let out early because he has been assaulted and threatened behind bars, and has finished counseling programs. But leaving prison this week would have had him out just six months ahead of his expected mandatory release in May; a parole hearing this month also could lead to early freedom. He still has five years of probation to serve.

"It's been a very long 15 months," O'Brien said of his incarceration.

"I'm glad," Judge Paul F. Harris Jr. replied.

O'Brien was convicted of manslaughter in the 2006 death of Maryland City archaeologist Katherine Randolph White. She gave him a place to stay after both were released from a substance abuse rehabilitation center. The two argued -- his lawyer claimed White overmedicated him -- and he strangled her, stepping over her body on the kitchen floor as he continued to live, eat and watch television in her Annapolis home until her mother came to find out why she had not heard from her daughter for days.

After Wednesday's hearing, her mother, Rebecca Randolph, said Harris' decision was "appropriate."

O'Brien was ordered to spend 18 months in jail and another 18 months on house arrest as part of a 10-year sentence. When he didn't obey the terms of house arrest, he was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in prison with five years suspended.

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