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Conviction in shooting outside after hours club

ShootingsHomicideJustice System

A Baltimore jury convicted a man Tuesday for ambushing two men shortly after closing time at a late-night club, then turning a gun on his own girlfriend.

Assistant state's attorney Charles Blomquist told jurors at the start of the trial that Ricky Horton had been "hunting and stalking" Sean Rhodes and Rudy Hyman and their girlfriends as they hung out at two after-hours clubs last year.

Just before 6 a.m. on Jan. 13, 2013, Horton, 27, shot at the two men outside the Ras-a-Ter International Restaurant and Club in the 2100 block of W. North Ave.

Horton fled in a getaway car, according to prosecutors; Rhodes died of his injuries, while Hyman survived.

"All I seen was the spark of the gun, like a fire," Hyman testified. He was struck in the face and back of his neck as he scrambled to dodge the bullets. Hyman's girlfriend testified that all she could see was blood.

Then, six blocks away, Horton shot again, wounding his own girlfriend, Tia Grannison, in the stomach. He then shot her in the face as she lay writhing on the ground. As he opened fire, prosecutors say Horton said "if you're not blood, you die."

Blomquist said in court that the woman, who survived her injuries, had heard Horton say he planned to kill Rhodes.

Horton was convicted of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault.

Horton's attorney, Francis A. Pommett, III, said his client denied shooting anyone and plans to appeal after his sentencing, which is set for Apr. 14.

"We were very disappointed with the result," Pommett said, adding that identifications of the shooter were inconsistent.

Timothy Fraser, the owner of the club, said that there was no connection between his business and the shootings. Fraser was charged with zoning violations after the incident, and authorities said at the time they hoped to shut the club down.

But the charges were later placed on the inactive docket, and Fraser said that while business has been slow, he's still open.

"It gave me a bad name for no cause," he said.

Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton contributed to this article.

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Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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