A Middle River man convicted of helping to hide the body of child his brother killed 16 years ago was sentenced yesterday in a brief but emotional court hearing.
John Stump, 32, wept as he listened to his sentence of five years in jail, all suspended except the three months he has served in prison, and five years on probation.
The sentencing ended a 16-year ordeal that devastated one family and divided another during a case described as "Cain and Abel" by defense attorney Gerald D. Glass.
His client was a key witness in the state's case against his brother, Roger Stump, who was convicted this year of second-degree murder in the 1982 death of 10-year-old Adam Faulkner.
"In order to get the man who killed Adam, they had to plea-bargain with John," said Chessa LeAnne Barnett, Adam's mother, who attended both trials. Now a corrections officer in Texas, Barnett said she understood the legal necessity for the plea bargain, which prosecutors had discussed extensively with her.
The nude, battered body of her 10-year-old son, a child from her first marriage, was found tied to a piling in the Middle River four days after he ran away from home in 1982. The case remained unsolved until last year, when a former girlfriend of Roger Stump's told police that he had told her about killing the child.
Roger Stump, who was 17 at the time of the slaying, was sentenced to 30 years in prison Tuesday, also by Judge Thomas J. Bollinger Sr.
John Stump was charged with being an accessory-after-the-fact murder. Prosecutors said the younger Stump helped his brother weight the child's body and bicycle with cinder blocks and tie it to a piling in the river near the Hawthorne community in Essex, where the Stumps and Adam lived in 1982.
"I truly cannot find a reasonable, rational inference that John Stump participated in this crime," Bollinger said when he announced the sentence.
Pub Date: 12/17/98