A Baltimore man already serving time for killing his son was sentenced to 20 years in prison yesterday for killing an acquaintance in 1991 by shooting him once, then putting a pistol to his head and firing a second time to "make sure he was dead."
Lawrence Banks, 39, of the 1600 block of E. Federal St., pleaded guilty yesterday to second-degree murder in the death of Michael J. Chisholm Nov. 19, 1991, and was sentenced immediately. Mr. Chisholm's body was found on the side of Alpine Beach Road in Pasadena.
Banks agreed to the plea in exchange for a recommendation from prosecutors that the sentence run concurrently with the 20-year sentence he is serving for killing his 17-year-old son, Lawrence Foster, about eight hours after the Chisholm murder.
Warren W. Davis III, the assistant state's attorney, said Banks killed his son to keep him from testifying that he sexually abused his daughter.
Mr. Davis said that no motive ever was established in Mr. Chisholm's murder.
He said that Mr. Chisholm, Banks and Banks' brother-in-law, Charles E. Pannell, 48, of Baltimore, had been drinking on the evening of Nov. 18 when they went to Banks' home and began looking at a map of Anne Arundel County. They drove to Pasadena early November 19, looking for drugs or money, Mr. Davis said.
When they stopped to relieve themselves about 2:30 a.m., Banks pushed Mr. Chisholm, shot him once in the head, then put his .357 Derringer against his victim's head and fired again to "make sure that he was dead," Mr. Davis said.
Mr. Davis said Banks and Pannell, who has been placed on five years' probation for being an accessory after a murder, implicated each other to police.
But Mr. Pannell passed a lie detector test, and it was Banks whose clothes were bloodied, and Banks' son who was found murdered the same day.
Banks entered an Alford plea in Baltimore Circuit Court Sept. 19, 1992, in the death of his son, denying guilt but conceding that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him.
Mr. Davis said Banks killed his son because the boy told authorities that Banks had sexually and physically abused his 16-year-old daughter, Mr. Davis said.
Court records show Banks was sentenced to a 15-year term in 1976 for throwing his daughter, then an infant, through a window.
The body of Banks' wife, Vivian Banks, was found hanging in a closet on the 8400 block of Odessa Court April 27, 1976.
Police termed the death suspicious.
Mr. Davis said yesterday that Banks was never charged in his wife's death.
But in her statements to police, Banks' daughter said in 1991 that he had threatened her occasionally with meeting the same fate as her mother.