Man gets 9-month term in death of 10-year-old Boy was struck, killed by car


A 38-year-old Hampstead man, who admitted that his car struck and killed a 10-year-old Baltimore County boy as the child rode his bike on a neighbor's lawn, is serving a nine-month jail sentence.

Baltimore County Circuit Judge Robert E. Cahill Sr. sentenced Ronald Lee Adams of the 18400 block of Gunpowder Road to four years in state prison last week.

But the judge suspended all but nine months and ordered Adams to serve three years on supervised probation and perform 540 hours of community service, court records show.

Adams pleaded guilty last month to one count of automobile manslaughter in the death of Benjamin Kenneth Merrell. Prosecutors dropped the remaining counts of the eight-count indictment.

According to court records, Benjamin, his father and sister had been visiting neighbors May 21 and were almost at their home in the 15700 block of Hanover Pike near Arcadia when Adams' car drove onto the lawn.

Benjamin was hit, and, as he lay moaning in pain, Adams drove home and went to sleep. He was arrested at home later that night, and police said he was intoxicated.

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