Gunman sentenced to life without parole in home-invasion murder

James Tanner, 28, killed Granite resident

September 01, 2010|By Nick Madigan, The Baltimore Sun

A 28-year-old man convicted of a fatal shooting during a home invasion in Granite was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without parole.

James S. Tanner was found guilty in May of first-degree murder, assault and burglary in the killing of Lamont Kareen Blackston, 35, on Oct. 13, 2009. Blackston owned a convenience store on North Avenue and was a football coach in a youth league.

Baltimore County Circuit Judge Timothy J. Martin sentenced Tanner to concurrent sentences on the burglary and assault counts.

Two accomplices, Gregory Davenport and Terrell Spencer — the latter Tanner's girlfriend — were also charged, but their cases were not prosecuted because of insufficient evidence, Baltimore County State's Attorney Scott D. Shellenberger said Wednesday.

Tanner and his companions were accused of holding up Blackston's house in the 10200 block of Harrison Grant Drive, near the borders of Carroll, Howard and Baltimore counties. Blackston's wife, Lakierra, their 15-year-old daughter and infant son were home when the crime took place.

Prosecutors said Blackston was accosted as he arrived home about 3 a.m. and taken inside. Tanner, holding a silver handgun, and his accomplices demanded money and valuables, according to testimony from the victim's wife and daughter. When Blackston and his family could come up with only $1,500 in cash, prosecutors said, Blackston was shot in the back of the head.

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