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Sentencing hearing set in Bryson caseSentencing in...


Sentencing hearing set in Bryson case

Sentencing in the Michael C. Bryson Sr. capital murder case will begin May 4 in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.

Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Warren B. Duckett Jr. expects testimony in the hearing to last until May 6, when the judge will decide whether to impose the death penalty in Bryson's case.

Bryson, 26, of Manchester, was convicted by an Anne Arundel jury March 11 of killing Melrose hardware store owner Charles W. Therit Jr. Mr. Therit was shot in the head last March 25 with a shotgun stolen from his store during a $140 robbery.

More than 60 witnesses testified during Bryson's three-week trial in Annapolis. He was convicted of first-degree murder, two counts of felony murder, robbery, armed robbery, battery and theft.

Judge Duckett will hear testimony from Mr. Therit's family and others called by prosecutors to try to convince the judge to impose a death penalty.

Defense attorneys will try to show Judge Duckett that circumstances in the case don't warrant Bryson's execution.

The Therit killing was Carroll's only homicide last year.

New member appointed to environment panel

The Carroll commissioners yesterday appointed a Carroll Community College instructor to the Environmental Affairs Advisory Board.

Carol Rabenhorst, a math and science instructor, will replace Brad Yohe, Carroll schools science supervisor, who formerly served as the education representative to the seven-member board.

Mr. Yohe resigned in December.

The committee meets monthly to review environmental issues and then make recommendations to the county commissioners. The committee is composed of citizens interested in matters that affect the environment.

The committee drafted the county's recently enacted forest conservation law, which requires developers to replace trees felled during construction. The law also requires tree plantings in areas where they previously did not exist.

Carroll builder wants more density

Mount Airy builder Donald Nave asked the Carroll commissioners yesterday to help him build more affordable housing in the county by allowing higher density.

Mr. Nave owns 10 acres on Cranberry Road in Westminster and would like to build 76 units with four homes in each unit. He called the units "quads" and said each home in the quad would sell for $75,000.

Couples with a combined income of $27,500 would be able to affordthe homes, said Sharon Williams, a Realtor with Long and Foster Realtors.

"I'm not here trying to double my profits," Mr. Nave said.

His property is zoned R-10,000, which allows one unit every 10,000 square feet.

"Density is the only way" to build affordable housing, he said.

Increased density can be allowed only if public water and sewer facilities can handle it, county Executive Assistant Robert A. "Max" Bair.

The City of Westminster would need to give its approval for Mr. Nave's project, Mr. Bair said.

Commissioner Julia W. Gouge said the county can't have increased density and still preserve farmland. Government must work to achieve a balance, she said.

"It's honorable" to want to build affordable housing, Commissioner Donald I. Dell said, but he said the question is how to do it.

The commissioners made no promises to Mr. Nave yesterday about changing the zoning.

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