A Reisterstown man was sentenced to life plus 85 years in jail this week in Howard County Circuit Court in connection with a shooting in Marriottsville two summers ago, according to a statement from the Howard County State's Attorney's Office.
Donald George Peoples Jr., 22, of the 400 block of Highmeadow Road, was convicted of attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, kidnapping, using a firearm to commit a violent crime and robbery.
The case involved what the state's attorney's office described as an "execution-style shooting" of a teen who survived and now has a bullet fragment lodged in his neck.
On June 19, 2012, Peoples and his girlfriend mistook the 15-year-old victim for someone who swindled them out of $200 in a marijuana deal, and so they abducted him from a sidewalk near his Reisterstown home, according to the report from the state's attorney's office.
Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Ritter said Peoples and his acquaintances—two others also stood trial—realized the victim had not been involved in the robbery but shot him nonetheless out of fear he would recognize him after they had abducted and assaulted him, according to the state’s attorney’s office.
Peoples and his girlfriend took the victim to a Randallstown home where a third individual produced a .22 caliber rifle and drove with them to Marriottsville, according to the statement.
In a field off of Old Frederick Road in Marriottsville, the victim was ordered out of the car at gunpoint, and as he walked away, police say Peoples shot him in the back of the head.
With a bullet fragment still lodged near his brain stem, the victim continues to suffer from nightmares and other "collateral damage," according to the report.
Peoples addressed the court prior to sentencing, and according to the state’s attorney’s office, did not apologize to the victim or the victim's family, who were present in the courtroom.
The jury reportedly deliberated for more than 11 hours before delivering the verdict, which was guilty on all counts—attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, kidnapping, use of a firearm in a violent crime and robbery.
Howard County Circuit Court Judge William V. Tucker said the crimes were "coldblooded and heartless" and that Peoples showed "no respect for humanity, no respect for human life" and was "a major threat to society," according to the report.
Tucker issued the following sentences for Peoples:
- Life sentence in prison for attempted first-degree murder with concurrent life sentence for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder
- 30 years for kidnapping to be served consecutive to life sentence
- 20 years consecutively for use of a firearm in felony crime
- 20 years consecutively for use of a firearm in violent crime/kidnapping
- 15 years consecutive for robbery
As for the other two suspects involved in the case, one is serving her sentence while the other is awaiting sentencing.
Chiquita Sketers, 22, of the 3400 block of Carriage Hill Circle in Randallstown, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty last July to attempted first-degree murder and using a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence, the state's attorney said.
Laura Christian Karr, 26, of Reisterstown, pleaded guilty in December to kidnapping and will be sentenced on July 17, the statement said.
During Peoples’ trial, Karr testified against Peoples, who was described as Karr’s boyfriend and the father of their child, according to the state's attorney.