A man county police describe as "very dangerous" was acquitted last week of attempted murder following a state appeals court reversal of his June 1989 conviction by a county Circuit Court jury.
Tyrone V.Boone, 47, was sentenced in October 1989 to 30 years in prison for the attempted murder of limousine driver Harold Bower. The jury found that Boone shot Bower in the head while he was parked on a Columbia road.
Boone remains in prison, where he is serving a three-year sentence for possession of cocaine.
In a decision released January 25, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals found that there was insufficientevidence presented at Boone's trial to find him guilty. Boone was acquitted Thursday.
Although FBI firearms experts testified that bullet fragments found in Bower's head were similar to those found in Boone's possession, the court said there was insufficient evidence thatthe bullets came from Boone's .22-caliber semiautomatic rifle.
"The closest evidence presented by the state was that (Boone) had a weapon which used similar-type bullets. That is not enough," the decision stated.
But Richard O'Connor, the former assistant state's attorney who prosecuted the case, said, "I thought there was plenty of evidence against Mr. Boone; so did the jury. I think that if the Court of Special Appeals had been in the courtroom they would have agreed with the jury."
FBI experts testified that the bullets from the shooting were "almost certainly" the same as those in Boone's gun, O'Connor said.
According to their testimony, O'Connor said, of the billions of .22-caliber bullets made each year it would be "almost statistically impossible" to find bullets of the same composition unless they came from the same source.
"To me it seems like it was compelling evidence," he said.
The Attorney General's Office does not plan to submit the case to the Court Of Appeals, the state's highest court, said Thomas Clancy, an assistant attorney general.
"(The Court of Appeals) reviews only important areas of law," Clancy said. "This is just an insufficiency of evidence case."
County police familiar with Boone and his criminal history expressed disappointment at the decision of the appeals court.
"I don't think anybody here, knowingMr. Boone's background, is thrilled about it," said detective Stephen R. Greisz, who investigated the Bower shooting.
"I think Tyrone Boone is a very dangerous man," he said.
Boone's record includes 27 arrests and several convictions. He served a 10-year prison sentence for a 1980 assault in which he tied his wife to a bed and threw scalding grits on her. He was released from prison in 1987.
It was his arrest on cocaine charges on Nov. 28, 1988, that helped police connect him to the Bower shooting seven days earlier.
Police pulled Boone over for erratic driving and found a rifle, several spent shells and cocaine in the car.
That case is also under appeal and will beargued in April before the Court of Special Appeals.