A former security guard and warehouse laborer was sentenced to 30 years in prison yesterday for murdering a Baltimore woman last fall by repeatedly stabbing her and leaving her body in a remote corner of Patapsco State Park near Elkridge.
David C. Boser, of the 200 block of S. Vincent St. in Baltimore, said yesterday that the only mistake he was guilty of was in choosing the wrong friends.
He said he didn't murder Emma Jean Wantland, 29, of Baltimore.
"My only guilt lies in loaning my car that night to someone who may have been involved," Boser told Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr.
Judge Thieme sentenced Boser to life, suspending all but 30 years of the term.
His sentence came after a hearing in which the defendant's mother stood before the judge, put her hands on her only son's shoulders, recalled his rustic, bucolic childhood in upstate New York and called him "a loving, caring child, not only to our family, but to the neighborhood we live in."
Assistant Public Defender Robert Waldman said his client had no criminal record prior to his arrest. He said Boser worked at odd jobs over the years and that a pre-sentence report unfairly criticized his client just because he was arrested with a shotgun and hunting knife.
"The fact that he likes to hunt and fish, that he was found with a hunting knife, a shotgun, a compass and map doesn't indicate that the guy is some kind of crackpot, Nazi survivalist," Mr. Waldman said.
Assistant State's Attorney Jennifer Spivak recommended a life sentence, noting that Boser still professes his innocence.
A jury convicted Boser Aug. 4 of first-degree murder in the Sept. 23, 1992, slaying.
According to testimony, Boser picked Ms. Wantland up in Baltimore in his 1977 Malibu station wagon and drove to the park, where he chased her and attacked her with a hunting knife, stabbing her 26 times. Ms. Wantland fought back, and Boser stabbed himself in the left forearm.
Bleeding profusely, Boser drove to nearby Main Street in Elkridge in Howard County, where he crashed into a fence. The stab wound and extensive blood on the car prompted Howard County police to send two detectives to interview Boser the next day at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center.
He gave police conflicting accounts of how he cut his arm and could not explain the blood smeared on the passenger side of the car.
When Anne Arundel County highway cleanup crews found Ms. Wantland's body a week later near the Elkridge crash scene, Anne Arundel police asked Howard County police about missing people. Howard police didn't have a missing woman but did have a suspect. Boser was arrested a week later by police in Batavia, N.Y.
Hair found on Boser's car matched the victim's hair, and tire tracks of Boser's car passed by some bushes where police said the murder weapon -- a hunting knife with a 4-inch blade -- was later found.
The state's strongest evidence may have been a coin-sized patch of the victim's blood that police found on Boser's car.
Despite the evidence, Mrs. Boser said yesterday that she remains convinced of her son's innocence.
After yesterday's hearing, she said that her son will appeal his conviction and she hopes to find witnesses in their neighborhood who will lead to the people she says are the real killers and place her son in Baltimore on the night of the murder.
"David never lied to us, and we're not going to let him down now," she said.