Second Defendant Sentenced to Life in Prison In the Murder of Witness Carl Lackl
Eight Defendants, Including 4 PDL Bloods Members, Convicted in the Murder
Baltimore, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett sentenced Frank Keith Goodman, age 23, of Baltimore today to two consecutive life sentences plus 55 years in prison for conspiracy to use telephones in the commission of a murder-for-hire; use of a firearm in a murder; conspiracy to murder a witness; and murder of a witness in connection with the murder of Carl Stanley Lackl on July 2, 2007, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.
U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said, “Many criminals will think twice about attacking witnesses if they know that law enforcement agencies are working together to respond swiftly to witness intimidation. We did not just prosecute Patrick Byers, the man who ordered the heartless murder of Carl Lackl. We did not just prosecute the teenager who pulled the trigger. We prosecuted every one of the eight people who played a role in the crime. They were caught quickly, and they will spend many decades in concrete prison cells far from home.”
“We take the crime of witness tampering and intimidation very seriously,” says ATF Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop. “In our continual effort to reduce violent crime and keep our communities safe, we rely on citizens to come forward, and we will investigate, and work to prosecute anyone who stands in their way.”
According to trial testimony and court documents, while in a city jail awaiting trial in the Baltimore City Circuit Court for the murder of Larry Haynes, Patrick Byers used a contraband cell phone to call Frank Goodman and offer to pay $2,500 for the murder of Mr. Lackl. Mr. Lackl had identified Byers as the person he saw throw a gun away as Byers ran from the scene of the murder of Mr. Haynes. Mr. Lackl had been subpoenaed to appear as a witness in the then-pending trial of Byers. On July 2, 2007, Goodman recruited Marcus Pearson, a member of the PDL Bloods gang, to murder Mr. Lackl, and provided Pearson with Mr. Lackl’s name, address and phone number.
Pearson contacted PDL Bloods member Steven Thompson, and Thompson recruited Jonathan Cornish, a junior member of the PDL Bloods whom Thompson supervised, to kill Mr. Lackl. Pearson got his girlfriend, Tammy Graham, to drive him in her car and arranged to pick up Cornish, although she was not aware at the time of the plan to murder Mr. Lackl. Michael Randle, another Bloods gang member, also agreed to participate in the murder. Pearson also asked Ronald Williams, who was not a Bloods member but with whom Pearson had previously participated in a drug related drive-by shooting, to drive Cornish and Randle to Mr. Lackl’s home.
At Pearson’s direction, Ronald Williams obtained a loaded .44 magnum handgun and gave it to Cornish. Cornish, Randle and Williams then followed Pearson to Mr. Lackl’s home, where Pearson lured Mr. Lackl outside his home by making telephone calls inquiring about a car Mr. Lackl had offered for sale. As Graham and Pearson drove by the house, Pearson saw Mr. Lackl outside and called Cornish to confirm that he was the target. Pearson and Graham left the area, while Williams drove back to Mr. Lackl’s home, where Cornish shot Mr. Lackl three times, killing him. After the murder, Cornish called Pearson to confirm that Mr. Lackl was murdered. Pearson contacted Byers to confirm the murder was completed, then contacted Frank Goodman who, on behalf of Byers, paid Pearson $2,300 for the murder. Pearson then met the other conspirators and gave Cornish and Randle $100 each. Thompson was present when Pearson dropped off Cornish and Randle, and Pearson commended Cornish for his performance of this “mission,” which Cornish hoped would increase his rank and reputation in the PDL Bloods.
The next morning, Graham learned from local TV news that Mr. Lackl had been murdered on the street in front of the home that she had driven by with Pearson the day before, and that Pearson, Williams, Cornish and Randle were involved. Pearson told Graham to deny that she ever drove Pearson to the site if questioned by police. Graham was in fact questioned by Baltimore County homicide detectives on July 31, 1007. She denied ever driving by the site where Mr. Lackl was killed, in order to protect Pearson from prosecution for murder. At no time during the July 31, 2007 interview did Graham tell the detectives what she knew about taking Pearson and leading the others to the murder site on July 2, 2007, or of what she knew about the involvement of the others in the murder of Mr. Lackl.
Tammy Graham age 25, of Baltimore pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced today at 2:00 p.m. for misprison of a felony in connection with lying to law enforcement authorities about her knowledge of the murder. She faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison.
Patrick Albert Byers, Jr., age 24, of Baltimore was convicted at trial along with Goodman and sentenced on May 4, 2009 to four consecutive life sentences for arranging Mr. Lackl’s murder. Steven Thompson, a/k/a L-Trigga, Trigger, age 28, of Baltimore pleaded guilty to using a gun during a crime of violence, and aiding and abetting. Thompson was sentenced on May 28, 2009 to 20 years in prison. Marcus Pearson, age 28, a/k/a “Pound,” and Ronald Williams, age 23, both of Baltimore, were sentenced on July 9, 2009 to 35 years and 25 years in prison, respectively, for their roles in arranging the murder. Michael Jerome Randle, a/k/a L-Killa, age 20, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to using telephones in the commission of a murder-for-hire and was sentenced on May 22, 2009 to 20 years in prison.
Jonathan Cornish, age 17, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to use of a firearm in the murder of Mr. Lackl and is scheduled to be sentenced on August 14, 2009.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Baltimore County Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Baltimore City Police Department, Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger and his office and Baltimore City State’s Attorney Patricia Jessamy and her office for their assistance in the investigation and prosecution. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys John Purcell and Bryan Giblin, who prosecuted the case.