By Guy Leonard, County Times
HOLLYWOOD, Md. (Aug. 28, 2008)—One of two men convicted in a playground shooting on Suburban Drive last year stemming from a domestic dispute between two neighborhood factions wants to have his record cleared, documents filed in St. Marys County Circuit Court show.
Lamont Drewell Carey, who was 17-years-old and a juvenile at the time of the shooting incident, pleaded guilty to being involved in a first-degree assault and reckless endangerment, court papers said, and was remanded to a juvenile facility.
David W. Densford, Careys attorney, said his client has successfully completed his time in the juvenile facility and he deserves to have his record expunged.
He never got convicted of anything as an adult, Densford said of his client, who is now 18 years old, adding that the states attorneys office missed the mark in prosecuting his client for taking part in the shooting.
If they felt he was a danger to the community and an active participant in a shooting they wouldve insisted he did [prison] time for it, Densford said. This was not the states attorneys offices finest moment.
He was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The April 24, 2007 shooting between what law enforcement termed as rival local gang factions, sparked a county-wide effort to identify possible gangs in communities as well as saturation patrols designed to crack down on street-level crime.
According to charging documents filed by investigators in the case, the shooting arose from a domestic dispute that set the two rival factions the Outsiders and the Boom Squad against each other.
Jarrell Raheim Johnson, a Boom Squad member who is serving a 10-year sentence as the other active shooter in the case, and fellow gang members gathered weapons and ammunition to confront one of the victims, Joseph Payne, who had been involved in the domestic dispute with his wife earlier that day, charging documents state. They then drove down Suburban Drive in several vehicles looking for Payne.
When they found Payne, charging documents state, Johnson and fellow gang members opened fire on Payne and his associates, including Sherron Torrill Bush, who was struck by shotgun pellets.
The gunfire erupted next to a small playground located on the main road leading down to the mobile home park and endangered as many as nine children who were playing there, investigators and prosecutors have said.
Assistant States Attorney Joseph Stanalonis, who prosecuted both Carey and Jones, said Densford misrepresented the facts of the case regarding Careys culpability in the events of that day.
The state fought the waiver [to juvenile court]; and [Carey] was placed in a locked, secure program and ordered to complete that program, Stanalonis told The County Times in rebuttal to Densfords statements. The court sent [Careys case] to juvenile court over the states objections.
Thats a complete mischaracterization of the case and shame on Mr. Densford for doing that.
Stanalonis also said that, legally, Densfords client is not eligible to have his record expunged.
The criminal procedure section clearly states hes not entitled to expungement until hes 21 years old, Stanalonis said. Then its up to the courts discretion.
Densford said his client is currently holding down a job.
Hes out there working six days a week, contributing to the community, Densford said.
Suspected Gang-Bangers Stage Gun Fight in Lex. Park; Nine Children Present, April 25, 2007