Dundalk man sentenced in attempted murders BALTIMORE COUNTY


A 38-year-old Dundalk man was sentenced yesterday to 30 years in prison for the attempted murders of a former girlfriend and her ex-husband in the Essex townhouse in which the divorced couple had reconciled.

Although Ronald Dale Lawrence claimed that he was not criminally responsible for his actions, a Baltimore County jury convicted him in April of two counts of attempted second-degree murder and other charges in the May 26, 1992, attack on the couple.

Yesterday Circuit Judge J. William Hinkel sentenced Lawrence, of the 7300 block of Holabird Ave., to maximum, concurrent 30-year terms.

Kathleen Ann Roberts, 36, of the the 1000 block of Foxcroft Lane was flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center after the assault on her and her former husband, Richard M. Roberts, 41, a Baltimore County sheriff's deputy.

She still has a bullet lodged in her chest -- one of several that Lawrence fired through the door into her bedroom, Assistant State's Attorney A. Dean Stocksdale said.

According to testimony, Lawrence and Ms. Roberts had had a relationship that ended several months before the attack. Although Ms. Roberts subsequently reconciled with her ex-husband, defense attorney Russell J. White said, Lawrence didn't know that when he went to her home.

After arguing with Mr. Roberts, Lawrence told Ms. Roberts, "I've got something for you," according to testimony, and he went to his vehicle for a handgun -- prompting the couple to call police.

Lawrence then drove behind the townhouse, broke into a basement door and ran up to the second floor, where he exchanged shots with the deputy sheriff.

Mr. White said that Lawrence had problems in addition to his emotional distress over the lost relationship. He was completely disabled when he lost a foot and suffered head injuries in a 1982 motorcycle accident, and he had been a drug and alcohol abuser.

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