Seventh man convicted in 'Bounty Hunter' killing case

Victim, 20, was attacked at motel, stabbed, set on fire at Leakin Park

March 25, 2011|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

A seventh person was convicted Friday in Baltimore Circuit Court in what police and prosecutors say was a gang-related killing of a man who was beaten, wrapped in a blanket, stabbed and set on fire for failing to carry out a task.

With his trial about to begin — in which several co-defendants were expected to testify — 25-year-old Anthony O. Williams entered an Alford plea, maintaining his innocence but acknowledging that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him in the murder of Petro Taylor in December 2008.

"The evidence the state would present was very strong, and he was afraid the jury would believe the witnesses," said his defense attorney, Nicole Egerton.

Police say that members and associates of the "Bounty Hunters," a so-called enforcement arm of the Bloods gang, met for a party at the Red Carpet Inn on Reisterstown Road. There, Taylor, 20, was attacked and tossed into the trunk of a vehicle, believed to be dead.

The suspects drove to Leakin Park to dispose of the body but realized Taylor was still alive. He was stabbed three dozen times before being doused in gasoline and set ablaze, sources told The Baltimore Sun at the time.

Detectives were able to obtain motel surveillance footage that showed a blanket-wrapped body being placed into the trunk.

Maryland authorities have previously convicted "Bounty Hunter" members in similarly ruthless crimes. In one case, a member from California was sent to Baltimore, where he slashed a 19-year-old man with a boxcutter, smashed him with a sledgehammer and stabbed him with a samurai sword before setting his body on fire.

Two Baltimore members of the group were also convicted in a separate case for shooting a fellow member in the back of the head for "false-flagging," or misrepresenting his status in the gang.

In the Red Carpet Inn case, Taylor's apparent misdeed was failing to drop off money for the commissary account of a fellow member being held at the county detention center.

Those charged in Taylor's assault and slaying included three women, Grechauna Rogers, 18, Tenisha Lawson, 20, and Sierra Pyles, 21, who each pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. They have not been sentenced, with their pleas held pending their participation in Williams' now-aborted trial.

Three other men, Devin Melton, 19, Lawrence Walker, 21, and Dominique Boone, 19, were initially charged with conspiracy to commit murder and pleaded guilty to second-degree assault, receiving 10 years in prison with all but three years suspended. Walker has already been accused of violating his probation, court records show.

Williams' plea agreement includes a cap on his sentence not to exceed life with all but 30 years suspended. He will be sentenced April 6, Egerton said.

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