After three days of jury deliberations, Kevin Lamont Richardson was found guilty yesterday of the fatal shootings of two college students who were killed in a hail of gunfire outside Volcano's nightclub last year.
The jury, which appeared to be deadlocked several times during the deliberations, delivered its verdict hours before a deadline the judge had set for a mistrial.
The 25-year-old was convicted of second-degree murder in the deaths of Donte P. Young, a 22-year-old student at Coppin State College, and Lori McDaniel, 19, a second-year civil engineering student at Morgan State University, on Oct. 24, 1996.
Richardson stood in the courtroom as the verdict was read with his hands clasped and twiddling his right thumb, occasionally staring at the victims' family, who burst into tears as the jury announced its decision.
"I feel relieved that this is over with," said McDaniel's mother Joan Washington, as she left the Baltimore Circuit Courthouse with her eyes full of tears. "It's not going to bring my daughter back, but I am a little satisfied today."
Dressed in the T-shirt that read "IN MEMORY OF DONTE P. YOUNG," Young's mother, Bonita Johnson, said she will rest easier over the holidays now that Richardson has been convicted. "I'm glad he's off the street and won't be able to do this to anyone else's child," Johnson said as she left the courthouse.
Richardson also was convicted of four counts of attempted murder for wounding four others in the incident, and for carrying and using a handgun during a crime. He could be sentenced to up to 200 years in prison on Feb. 12.
John Deros, Richardson's lawyer, said he plans to appeal the case on grounds that members of the victims' families harassed jurors because they were taking days to reach a verdict.
The jury had sent several notes to the judge during their deliberations, saying they were having trouble reaching a unanimous verdict. Deros said he is concerned that pressure from victims' family members might have led the jury to convict Richardson instead of causing a mistrial by failing to reach a verdict.
"I was surprised because after so long a period of deliberations they came back with a guilty verdict, even after they had told the judge that they were having difficulty reaching a unanimous verdict," Deros said.
"The bottom line is it's not over," he said. "I'm not satisfied with the verdict."
Pub Date: 12/23/97