Roles in deadly brawl mean jail time for pair Man died in fight; 3rd defendant to be sentenced

A Millersville man and an Annapolis woman were sent to jail yesterday for their roles in a drunken brawl last December that left a man dead. A second man involved in the fight is to be sentenced Thursday.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. sentenced James Thomas, 28, of Marc Road, to six months in the county Detention Center and another six months under house arrest.


Thomas pleaded guilty in August, along with two other men, to charges of assault and battery, and breaking and entering for his role in the fight Dec. 18 at a party in an apartment on Graff Court in Annapolis.

Wanda Sherbert-Hall, 30, whose last address was in Annapolis, was sentenced to 30 days in the county Detention Center after pleading guilty to a charge of breaking and entering. She was described by prosecutors as the girlfriend of another defendant in the case, Douglas Palmer, 31, of Silverwood Circle in Annapolis, who was stabbed to death three weeks ago in an unrelated incident.


Thomas' brother, Herbert Thomas, 47, of the 200 block of Croll Drive in Annapolis will be sentenced Thursday.

According to court records, all four had left the party on Graff Court but returned because James Thomas, who had stayed longer than the others, said he had been beaten up there.

The four broke through the locked front door, and the three men began beating up Troy Hammond, 32, and his friend, James Pope, a 36-year-old maintenance man.

Someone pushed Mr. Pope, who fell against a china cabinet and sliced an artery in his left arm on a broken pane of glass. He bled to death within minutes.

Annapolis police originally charged the three men with manslaughter, but the charges were reduced to assault and battery because prosecutors could not determine who pushed Mr. Pope.

Peter S. O'Neill, James Thomas' attorney, asked that his client, whose only previous conviction was for malicious destruction, not receive jail time.

Assistant State's Attorney Fred Paone countered that had the four not returned to the party and started the fight, nothing would have happened and Mr. Pope would be alive.