Louis Hill III told Baltimore County police he was driving aimlessly up Liberty Road 13 months ago when two men he didn't know waved him down for a ride to a Randallstown bank, where two employees were shot to death and two were wounded, an officer testified yesterday.
Mr. Hill, a 26-year-old businessman from Rodgers Forge, is on trial for first-degree murder in Harford County Circuit Court. His request for a change of venue was granted because prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against him as the alleged gunman.
Yesterday, Officer Garrett F. Leonard and others described how they heard a police radio broadcast about the shootings at the Farmers Bank & Trust Co., in the 9800 block of Liberty Road, at 2 p.m. on Oct. 26, 1992.
The officers described cornering Mr. Hill and Benjamin Franklin Boisseau Jr. near a parking lot trash bin a few miles away, where they recovered cash, clothing, surgical gloves, bloody shoes, ammunition and a Mac-11 pistol. A federal agent produced a transaction record showing that Mr. Hill purchased the pistol in Virginia in December 1990.
Less than two hours after the women had been ordered to lie on the floor of the bank vault, then were shot one by one, Mr. Hill was under arrest and gave the statement, Officer Leonard said.
Mr. Hill told police the two strangers asked him to drive to the bank, whose name he didn't remember, and went inside for about five minutes, Officer Leonard said. When they came out, Mr. Hill told investigators, the pair asked him to drive to the Beltway. On the way, one got out of the car and disappeared at a gas station, Mr. Hill told detectives.
Mr. Hill didn't mention that one of the men, Boisseau, had worked with his company, the officer said.
Boisseau, 23, formerly of the 3100 block of Clifton Ave. in Baltimore, was convicted earlier this year and sentenced to life in prison. Called by the prosecution yesterday, he invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination because he is appealing.
But Judge William O. Carr agreed to have Boisseau stand, shackled at the legs and dressed in a gray sweat suit, beside Mr. Hill, who was sharply dressed in a gray business suit. At 6 feet 2 and 220 pounds, Mr. Boisseau dwarfed Mr. Hill, a slender 5 feet 9 inches.
That was important to defense attorney David P. Henninger, who continued to pound away in cross examination over witnesses' initial descriptions of both bank robbers as 6 feet 2 inches tall.
"We were looking for an older-model silver Toyota with two black males," Officer Andrew Davis told him.
The officer downplayed the discrepancies in witnesses'
TC descriptions. Knowing how crime victims' descriptions vary, he said, "If there had been two midgets in the car, it wouldn't matter."