Man convicted in 1980 murder released early

A man convicted of a 1980 murder was recently released from prison by a court order.

On June 30, 1980, Peter Nick Kosmos Jr., then 23, got into an argument with 24-year-old James L. Trone III, of Havre de Grace, according to an Aegis article.

The argument started on Belcamp Road and at one point, Kosmos hit Mr. Trone in the head with the handle from a car jack. Mr. Trone died eight days later.

Kosmos, now 56, was sentenced to life in prison for the murder and since then, had requested his sentence to be overturned or for a new sentencing hearing to be held.

When he filed the request, in 1998, Kosmos' reasoning was because of then-Gov. Parris N. Glendening's statements that parole would not be granted to people serving life sentences, according to an Aegis article.

A hearing was held in front of Judge Cypert O. Whitfill at the time, but Kosmos remained at the Maryland Department of Corrections until last month.

He was released by the court in July after a judge modified his sentence, according to Mark A. Vernarelli, director of public information for the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.

Vernarelli did not have any additional details about his release. Harford State's Attorney Joseph Cassilly said Tuesday that Kosmos' sentence was modified in July to become a life sentence, with all but 40 years suspended.

Once the "good time credit" was added to Kosmos' time by the Department of Corrections, Cassilly said Kosmos was ready to be released.

During his incarceration, court records show Kosmos wrote a letter to Harford Circuit Court Judge William Carr with a request to be transferred to the Patuxent Institution to pursue trade or college programs.

Carr later responded that he had little control over where a person serves their time once being sent to the Department of Corrections.

Kosmos also filed for a modification or reduction in his life sentence in 2006.

He also wrote to The Aegis, including one letter to the editor in 2005 when he disagreed with the ruling of then-Circuit Court Judge Maurice Baldwin, who modified the sentence of a convicted sex offender.

In his letter, Kosmos said being a judge was a thankless job and wrote that although he disagreed with the ruling, he felt that Baldwin was being compassionate.

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