Saying that too many children are carrying guns, a Baltimore Circuit Court judge has sentenced a 16-year-old drug dealer to 35 years in prison in an East Baltimore slaying.
Noah Walston Jr. pleaded guilty yesterday to the Aug. 1 second-degree murder of James Crawford, 24. The teen-ager also pleaded guilty to a handgun violation and cocaine possession with intent to distribute.
Walston told police that Crawford, of the 3400 block of Bateman Ave., had robbed him of $50 and a gold pinky ring two weeks before the slaying.
"Mr. Walston, it is somewhat of a tragedy to hear that at 16 years of age you are facing a long period of incarceration," Judge John N. Prevas said. "It is also a tragedy that whatever Mr. Crawford did wrong, that he didn't deserve to be summarily executed in the street.
"We have in our society, unfortunately, too many children like yourself running around with guns without the maturity to exercise judgment in how to use them," the judge added.
The judge gave Walston a 60-year prison term with all but 35 years suspended and five years' probation. At the time of the slaying, the teen-ager was on probation for drug possession as a juvenile.