Gun found in recent arrest may have been 2009 Glen Burnie murder weapon

Tests under way on gun as trial delayed

February 14, 2011|By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun

Only days before she was to be a key prosecution witness in a 2009 murder trial, a Glen Burnie woman was charged with drug and gun violations, and she may have been telling people that the gun found in her possession was the murder weapon.

The revelation led to a delay in the trial of Dominic Richard Sanchez of Baltimore, which had been scheduled to start Monday, until June, at the request of Anne Arundel County prosecutors.

Sanchez is charged with first-degree murder and conspiracy in the July 15, 2009, shooting of Lamont Gordon. Police said in charging documents that Sanchez, 31, was romantically involved with Gordon's wife and had a friend, Joseph Samuel Serio, shoot Gordon. Last year, Serio, now 32, of Glen Burnie, was sentenced to life in prison, with all but 50 years suspended, after he entered an Alford plea to first-degree murder. Prosecutors suspect Serio had gang ties.

Sanchez's defense lawyer has questioned the credibility of a woman he called the prosecutors' "star witness," according to a recording of Friday's trial postponement hearing. In court documents last year, defense lawyer John M. McKenna wrote that she was the only witness who suggested that Sanchez had anything to do with Gordon's death.

Prosecutors previously requested that the woman not be named publicly, saying in court documents filed this month that they were concerned for her safety.

Prosecutors learned that "their star witness was both selling drugs and had a weapon that she was describing to other people as being the murder weapon in this case," McKenna told Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Paul A. Hackner on Friday.

Police had not found the gun used to kill Gordon. Whether this is it, as prosecutor Anastasia Prigge said in court that her witness may have claimed, is not known.

"Obviously, that is being investigated," said Kristin Fleckenstein, spokeswoman for the state's attorney's office. However, she said, she could not discuss how the latest twist might affect the case against Sanchez. Police declined to speak about it because it is an open investigation.

The woman was arrested Wednesday, charged with possession with intent to distribute, marijuana possession and two handgun violations, and jailed.

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