Two Convicted in Mall Shooting

The alleged gunman faces trial sometime next year.

A Baltimore County jury has convicted two men accused in a fatal shooting at Towson Town Center last December.

William Ward III and Frank Theodore Williams were found guilty of all charges.

Prosecutors say the two were part of a group that followed Baltimore teen Rodney Pridget through Towson Town Center before alleged gunman Tyrone Brown shot him outside Nordstrom.

Ward, 45, of the 600 block of Cator Avenue in Baltimore, and Williams, 32, of the 2900 block of Lakebrook Circle in Baltimore Highlands were charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and use of a handgun in a violent crime in the death of Rodney Vest Pridget, who was on Dec. 19.

Family members of Williams wept, and one left the courtroom as the verdict was read. Members of Pridget's family, who had attended court throughout the trial and during deliberations, were not in attendance for the verdict.

The verdict followed more than 15 hours of deliberations. The jury, after the defense declined to call witnesses, and reached its verdict at 12:46 p.m. Wednesday. Both men could face life in prison. Sentencing is set for Oct. 12.

"I am very proud of the citizens of Baltimore County. They worked really hard in there," said prosecutor Robin Coffin. She also praised the "extraordinary work by our police department."

Josh Insley, a public defender representing Williams, said the defense plans to file a motion for a new trial.

"We believe that we put on a compelling argument that Mr. Williams was not part of this plan. He was used by them basically as a driver and he was of course left at the scene," Insley said. "It was always part of our position that he wasn't part of any conspiracy."

In their trial last week, prosecutors said Pridget, 19, was targeted because he allegedly shot Williams' cousin, Dustin Smith.

Police say Williams and Ward were among a group of four that stalked Pridget through the mall. and phone records showed the men communicating and interacting around the mall. During the trial, a police gang enforcement expert testified that Williams and Ward are leaders in the Black Guerilla Family.

Jermell Brandon, who allegedly made the phone call to Williams that led to Williams driving to the mall with Ward and accused gunman Tyrone Brown, and that Brown took the role of shooter to advance his status in the gang.

Brown's trial, scheduled to start next month, was postponed to next year. Brandon struck a plea deal with prosecutors and faces up to 20 years in federal prison on the conspiracy charge.

Harry Callahan September 06, 2012 at 11:39 AM
We don't need to execute these guys. We can let the other convicts in the prisons do it for us. What we have to do in the prison system is stop worrying about these guys when they fight and stab each other when they are in prison. I say let them go at it. Ever see the movie "Escape from New York"? Now that's an idea I can really get behind. Just pick an isolated area of this country (somewhere in the western states where you can locate a compound that's say 500 mile away from anything and has no road system leading to it. Put up a barbed wire compound ala the prisoner of war camps of World War II but with one difference. The fences are electrified and we dig a 100 foot deep 100 foot wide moat around the place. Fill the bottom of the moat with broken glass shards. Food and water for the prisoners? That gets air dropped in by parachute from one of the many helicopter gun ships that fly over the mine field that surrounds the moat for a distance of 1 mile. Housing? How about the tents our military uses in Iraq? If the prisoners want to fight and kill each other let 'em do it. This facility is only for those serving LWOP (Life without parole). Visitors? Sure. If any of their family members wants to take a one-way trip to this camp, let 'em do it. I'm telling you it's an idea who's time has come.
Chillin September 06, 2012 at 11:44 AM
Don't you love thugs killing thugs.Though I must say, I like it much better when they do it in the ghettos their fathers created rather than in such a public place where so many innocent people are going about their own business. Gang retaliation is working so much more effectively than our Maryland Legislature is on bringing back Capitol Punishment.
Needaname September 06, 2012 at 03:21 PM
OMGoodness - you are so right on !
JD1 September 07, 2012 at 12:27 AM
That's a shame - so much cheaper than room and board for life.
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