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FINAL DEFENDANT IN HARWOOD FIREBOMBING PLEADS GUILTY
Targeted Baltimore Woman Who
Tried to Stop Them from Selling Drugs in Her Neighborhood
BALTIMORE, Maryland - Sedrick Bowman, age 26, of Baltimore pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit witness tampering and use of fire and explosives to commit a felony, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz scheduled sentencing for August 31, 2006 at 9:00 a.m.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, “Criminals need to know that witness intimidation will not be tolerated. Law enforcement will do everything possible to insure that anyone who attempts to intimidate a witness will be quickly brought to justice and serve a substantial prison sentence.”
ATF Special Agent in Charge Gregory K. Gant said, "The outstanding work that was done by the ATF agents, the Baltimore City Police detectives and fire personnel, and the city and federal prosecutors has taken seven violent criminals off the streets of Baltimore. This case is another example of ATF's commitment to fight violent crime in our communities."
According to the statement of facts provided to the court, on January 15, 2005, Bowman met with Nakie Harris, age 30, Jackie Brewington, age 19, Issac Smith, age 26, Andre Wilkins, age 32, Richard Royal, age 21 and Terrence Smith, age 24, all of Baltimore to discuss firebombing a home in retaliation for the owner of that residence reporting drug activity to the police and in an effort to prevent the owner from continuing to report drug activity. Bowman and others made molotov cocktails by emptying beer bottles, filling them with gasoline and inserting rags soaked with gasoline to serve as “wicks.” The defendants gathered at the home, where Bowman, Brewington and Royal each threw one of the molotov cocktails at the rear of the residence, while Nakie Harris and Isaac Smith threw molotov cocktails at the front of the house. Meanwhile, Andre Wilkins directed Shakia Watkins, age 19, of Baltimore to call the Baltimore City “911” operator to report a fictitious crime in order to divert police attention away from the area of the firebombing. Wilkins, serving as the getaway driver, parked his car in an alley near the site and drove the defendants from the scene.
Bowman faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and $250,000 fine on the conspiracy to commit witness tampering and a mandatory sentence of ten years in prison consecutive to any sentence received on the witness tampering charge for using fire and explosives to commit a felony. Bowman remains detained.
Terrence Smith, Nakie Harris and Richard Royal were convicted after trial. Smith was sentenced to 80 years in prison. Harris and Royal were both sentenced to 60 years in prison. Prior to trial, Brewington, Andre Wilkins and Isaac Smith pled guilty to witness tampering and use of fire and explosives to commit a felony and each faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. Their sentencings have not been scheduled. Shakia Watkins pled guilty to conspiracy to commit witness tampering and was sentenced to four years in prison.
United States Attorney Rosenstein praised the investigative work performed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Baltimore City Fire Department; Baltimore City Police Department; and the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant U.S. Attorneys A. David Copperthite and Kwame J. Manley, who prosecuted the case.
This page last modifiedJune 15, 2006