Dontay Carter, the Baltimore killer who once made an infamous escape by leaping out of a judge's bathroom window, told members of a jury yesterday that they should blame him and not a notorious drug gang for the attempted murder of his half brother.
Carter, 24, serving two consecutive life sentences plus 119 years for a murder and kidnapping spree, testified for the defense as a huge federal racketeering trial winds down. The Anthony Jones organization is suspected in a dozen killings, and nine of the ring's alleged lieutenants are on trial in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.
With at least two federal marshals guarding each exit of the courtroom, Carter said on the stand that prosecutors were blaming the wrong person for the Feb. 16 shooting of Angelo Carter. The younger Carter was shot several times at an East Baltimore carryout but survived.
"I decided I wanted him dead," Dontay Carter said matter-of-factly, asserting that Anthony Jones played no part in the contract hit. "I ordered Angelo killed."
Prosecutors, who scoffed at Dontay Carter's story, alleged in an indictment that members of the Anthony Jones gang were behind Angelo Carter's shooting. Jones' gunmen went after Angelo Carter to punish him for testifying to a grand jury about the drug ring, court papers said.
Dontay Carter said he wanted his half brother killed because of RTC the grand jury testimony, which he said would have put other Carter family members' lives in danger.
Defense attorney Walter C. McCord used Dontay Carter's testimony to try to discredit the prosecution theory. McCord's client, Jerry "Black Jerry" Williams, is a suspected enforcer in the Jones organization and is charged with attempting to kill Angelo Carter.
Williams is also a longtime friend of Dontay Carter's, according to Dontay Carter's testimony.
In cross-examination, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jamie M. Bennett intimated that Dontay Carter had conjured up the story to help Williams. Extra prison time, even another felony conviction, would mean nothing to Dontay Carter because he is already serving such a long sentence, she said.
"You could come here and say you killed President Kennedy and there's nothing else anyone could do to you, isn't that right?" Bennett asked Dontay Carter.
"Well, I'd be brought up on charges. He's the president," he replied.
Dontay Carter touched off a wave of fear throughout the city in 1992 after he and accomplices targeted white professionals heading to their cars in parking garages. He killed Vitalis V. Pilius, a 37-year-old computer engineer, and abducted two other men -- a Johns Hopkins physician and a Baltimore jeweler -- in car trunks.
Eventually captured and convicted in the Pilius murder and facing trial in a kidnapping, Dontay Carter sparked a manhunt on Jan. 18, 1993, when he jumped out of Baltimore Circuit Judge John Prevas' bathroom window during a courtroom break. Carter slammed the door shut, leaped out and ran off on St. Paul Street while guards attempted to force the door in.
Acting on a tip, federal agents caught him the next day hiding in a Northeast Baltimore apartment. Yesterday, Bennett reminded him and the jury of his convictions. But Carter denied that he ever escaped.
"You mean to say that you didn't escape out Judge Prevas' bathroom window?" the prosecutor asked.
"I wouldn't say that," Carter responded. "The man let me use his bathroom and I went out the window. I needed to go home."
Before taking the stand, Dontay Carter was informed of his rights yesterday, and his attorney reminded him on the stand that he could be charged with perjury if he didn't tell the truth.
Pub Date: 12/10/97