Severna Park jockey sentenced to 50 years for killing woman

Girlfriend also facing murder charge

February 07, 2011|By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun

A jockey who followed a woman home from a Glen Burnie bar after she and his girlfriend argued, killed her and stabbed her boyfriend was sentenced Monday to 50 years in prison.

Francis Eugene Adams, 22, who lived in Severna Park with his girlfriend and her mother, said nothing in court before Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Ronald A. Silkworth handed down the sentence that Adams had agreed to in exchange for pleading guilty to first-degree murder and first-degree assault last month.

Children of Debra Lynn Gill, 52, who was fatally stabbed, described her as a loving mother and kind woman. A remembrance book shown to Silkworth is filled with photos of a smiling Gill with her four children and two grandchildren.

"She would reach out to the outcasts of society," said her daughter, Julie Ladlich, recounting her mother helping and feeding homeless people. "I count it as such an honor to have her as a mom and to have known her."

Gill and her boyfriend, Clayton Baublitz, 25, were stabbed about 2 a.m. May 29 in the parking lot of her Marley Run apartment.

Prosecutors said Adams' girlfriend, Danielle Swain, 23, "perceived a disrespect" by Gill outside Linda's Place, a bar in Glen Burnie. After Gill and Baublitz left the bar, they were followed by Adams and Swain to a fast-food drive-through, and then to Gill's home. They were stabbed in Gill's car.

Swain is scheduled to be tried in April.

Outside the courtroom, Adams' defense lawyer, District Public Defender William M. Davis, said the dispute was "over more than just disrespect or money," but he refused to elaborate on what the defense would have been at a trial.

Michele Cinque, another of Adams' lawyers, depicted Adams, who grew up in Bowie, as a polite young man who worked from his high school graduation in 2005 until his arrest in May as a jockey and horse trainer. She said his life started to change in 2008, when he moved in with a then-girlfriend — not Swain — who is the mother of his child, and he became caught up with drugs and alcohol. She said he regretted Gill's death.

The sentencing took place about a month after Silkworth ruled that prosecutors had violated court rules by withholding information from Adams' lawyers about two potential witnesses. The judge barred prosecutors from calling one of the witnesses and was considering doing the same for the second.

Adams was sentenced to a life term with all but 50 years suspended, plus a 25-year suspended sentence. He will have to serve more than two-thirds of the 50 years before he is eligible for parole and cannot be paroled without the governor's consent.

andrea.siegel@baltsun.com

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