United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, Rod Rosenstein, said a federal jury has convicted Nakie Harris, 30; Richard Royal, 21; and Terrence Smith, 24; all of Baltimore, of conspiracy to commit witness tampering, witness tampering by attempted murder, use of firearms in a crime of violence, using fire and explosives in a felony and making firearms in connection with the Jan. 15, 2005 arson of a
residence located in the Harwood community of Baltimore.
Four other defendants pleaded guilty before trial, according to Rosenstein. “All three of these defendants face minimum mandatory sentences of 40 year in federal prison,” he noted.
According to trial testimony, on Jan. 15, 2005, the defendants, along with co-defendants Jackie Brewington, age 19, Andre Wilkins, age 32, Isaac Smith, age 26, and Shakia Watkins, age 19, all of Baltimore, conspired to attempt to kill a person to prevent such person from communicating information to federal law enforcement about the commission and possible commission of drug trafficking.
The defendants purchased gasoline and beer bottles, and made
“Molotov Cocktails.” The defendants threw the “Molotov Cocktails” at the residence and used a getaway car to escape.
Harris, Royal and Terrence Smith face a maximum penalty of: 5 years in prison for count 1 which charges conspiracy to commit witness tampering; 20 years for count 2 which charges witness tampering by attempted murder;10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine under count 3 which charges witness tampering by use of physical force; a mandatory minimum of 30 years in prison and
up to life in prison plus a $250,000 fine under Count 4 which charges use of a destructive device (Molotov cocktail) in a crime of violence; a minimum mandatory 10 years consecutive to any other count of conviction and a $250,000 fine under Count 5 which charges use of fire or an explosive in the commission of witness tampering; and 10 years and a $250,000 fine under Count 6 for making a Molotov cocktail.
U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz set sentencing for all three defendants for Feb. 3, 2006.
Brewington, Andre Watkins, Isaac Smith and Shakia Watkins previously pled guilty to witness tampering and use of fire and explosives to commit a felony and face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Sentencing of these four defendants has not been scheduled.
An additional defendant, Cedrick Bowman, age 24, of Baltimore was indicted in this case on the same charges. No court appearance has been scheduled.
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