Serial Baltimore robber sentenced to life in murder of Korean businessman

May 23, 2012|By Tricia Bishop

A Baltimore judge on Wednesday sentenced serial robber William Carr to life in prison plus 30 years, the maximum terms allowed, for the armed robbery and murder last year of a Korean businessman at the Erdman Shopping Center in Belair-Edison.

“Had he not been arrested… he would have continued his violent conduct,” said Baltimore State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein, who prosecuted the case alongside Assistant State’s Attorney Josh Felsen.

Carr, who was released from a 20-year prison term in 2010, was convicted of at least two other armed robberies before he was incarcerated and is facing trial next month in a separate incident that occurred just days before he killed Chong Wan Yim on June 28th. Carr shot the 55-year-old father of two as he returned to his truck after making a delivery to Linden Liquors.

One of Yim’s daughters spoke for the family in court. That Tuesday afternoon last summer was supposed to be just another work day for her father and family, she said, but “it’s going to be remembered as the worst day of our lives.”

Yim, who emigrated from South Korea in 1985, put family before himself, especially his two girls, making their success and comfort in the U.S. his priority. His death was devastating. “I don’t think we’ll ever recover,” Jin Yim said quietly, adding that she hoped for some “sense of closure” over time.

Carr’s daughter also spoke, telling the judge that her father tried to be a good man, despite his troubled past. “We love you dad,” she said.

When her father’s turn to address the court came, he recited what sounded like the creed for the Jaycee’s, a nonprofit civic organization. He spoke of his faith in God and the brotherhood of man transcending the sovereignty of nations. When he got to the part where “the government should be of laws rather than of men,” he pointedly leaned toward Bernstein, directing his comments at the state’s attorney.

Carr's own attorney, assistant public defender Maureen Rowland, said her client “insist[s] on his innocence” in Yim’s death.

“He is very sorry for the loss that the family has suffered in this case,” Rowland said, “but it’s just not him” who is responsible. Carr was convicted during a jury trial in April.

Rowland argued for a lighter-than-maximum sentence, stating that anything less than a life term would allow Carr, 50, to take advantage of prison programs and to be housed in a facility with lesser security requirements.

“It will give him hope and it will change his classification status,” she said, noting that most any term “is a life sentence” in the practical sense, given his age. “This is not somebody that’s ever going to see the light of day,” Rowland said.

Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Paul Smith said Carr’s criminal record leads “the court to conclude that the defendant continues to pose a serious threat to the safety of the community,” however, and sentenced him to the maximum terms: life for Yim’s murder, a 20 year term to run consecutively for using a handgun in a crime of violence, and a five-year term on top of that for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Carr is also set for trial on June 12 on charges he robbed the owner of the S&M Market in Northeast Baltimore four days before shooting Yim. Rowland reminded the court Wednesday that her client is presumed innocent in that case.

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