A man accused of beating a homeless man sleeping in an abandoned car in North Laurel was sentenced to three years in prison in Howard Circuit Court yesterday.
Rudolph Queen, 31, of Laurel was sentenced by Judge Cornelius Sybert Jr. after entering an Alford plea, which means that he denied his guilt but agreed that prosecutors had enough evidence for a conviction.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors dropped charges of attempted murder, assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to maim, assault and a weapons violation. Battery carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
"You have been given a break," Judge Sybert told Queen. "You're probably lucky the man wasn't killed."
Assistant State's Attorney Shawn Larson said he agreed not to seek a prison sentence of more than three years because the victim, who is a friend of Queen's, did not want the defendant to go to jail for a long time.
Mr. Larson added that a co-defendant -- Kenneth Davis, 31, of Laurel -- is seen as the "instigator" of the May 6 incident. Mr. Davis is to stand trial on charges in the incident on Oct. 8.
Queen and Mr. Davis are accused of threatening to kill Kenneth Hood while they beat him, after pulling him from an abandoned car in the 10100 block of Washington Blvd.
Mr. Hood managed to get away from the men as they dragged him to a nearby woods, Mr. Larson said. Mr. Hood went to the Laurel City Police Department, where officers took him to a hospital for treatment.