One of two men who killed a 72-year-old customer during a holdup at a Waverly carryout in April 2010 was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years in prison, according to the Baltimore state's attorney's office.

Michael Hunter, 20, of the 300 block of E. Belvedere Ave. was convicted in September of first-degree murder, three counts of using a handgun in the commission of a crime and armed robbery. Baltimore Circuit Judge Lawrence P. Fletcher-Hill handed down a 70-year sentence but suspended 20 years.

Hunter's accomplice, Troy Taylor, 19, of the 2700 block of Fenwick Ave., pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in March and was sentenced to life in prison, with all but 35 years suspended.

The two men were robbing Yau Brothers about 12:30 a.m. April 8 of last year when they confronted a customer, Charles Bowman, who was waiting for his order of pork yaka mein before starting his overnight shift as a security guard at the Afro-American newspaper.

Police said Bowman, a retired truck driver and Vietnam War veteran, was robbed of $13 before he was shot and killed. Two days later, a 22-year-old man was shot and killed four blocks away, outside a gas station on East 33rd Street.

The killing prompted a crackdown by city police, who flooded the business corridor near the Waverly Farmers' Market and the Johns Hopkins University. The police commissioner led a solidarity march down Greenmount Avenue and led a roll call for more than 50 officers on the street in a demonstration of force.

The Yau Brothers carryout in the 3000 block of Greenmount Ave. has been a source of concern for the neighborhood. It has been the scene of four killings since March 2009, the latest on Oct. 31, Halloween night, when a 52-year-old customer was gunned down during a holdup.

The wife of the latest victim, Freddie Jones Jr., an airport shuttle bus driver, is a cousin of Hunter's, the man who was sentenced Wednesday.

peter.hermann@baltsun.com

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts