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Jury split on Thomas verdicts

A South Baltimore man was convicted last night of ramming a car into a police officer during an October 2001 chase, but he was acquitted of murder and 14 other charges.

Gregory Kevin Thomas could be sentenced to 25 years in prison for hitting Southern District police Officer Adam Long with a car - throwing him 20 feet in the air and injuring him - as Long and others were pursuing Thomas in connection with a murder charge.

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Police believed that Thomas, 22, had killed Darryl "Tank" Dennis during a kidnapping and robbery. He was also charged with the attempted murder of another man, Michael Wolfe, who testified during the trial.

Several jurors declined to speak about their verdict last night. The jury could not reach a unanimous decision on two counts against him- attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault. The charges stemmed from an attack on Wolfe.

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Prosecutor Sharon Holback said she would "seriously consider" retrying Thomas on those two charges, though defense lawyer Randolph Gregory said he believes it would be unlawful to try his client two times for the same crime.

"I am pleased with the verdict," Gregory said.

A co-defendant, Theodore Mouzon, faces retrial in October. Mouzon was tried last year, but the case ended in a hung jury.

The case drew added public attention because Wolfe, who has been in the city's cash-poor witness assistance program for more than a year, has spoken out against the program as being insufficient.

According to testimony this week, Wolfe and Dennis were talking on a street corner in Southwest Baltimore at about 7 p.m. Oct. 16 when two men approached, one with a handgun and the other wearing a Halloween mask.

The assailants threw the men on the ground, then forced Dennis into a van, Wolfe testified. He said he was able to run away.

Shortly thereafter, police found Dennis' body - and a Halloween mask - in the van, five blocks from where he had been abducted. He had been shot several times.

Thomas' DNA was found on the Halloween mask, according to police testimony. Police also testified that Thomas had driven the van the day before the killing, and that his fingerprint was found on the van.

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Thomas' lawyer argued that the van was stolen before the abduction and killing occurred.

Holback told the jury that Thomas took the murder weapon - a handgun with the victim's blood on it - out of the van and later discarded it under a truck as police chased him the day after the killing.

Officer Long was struck by the car as Thomas tried to escape police.

Thomas is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 8. He is being held in jail and is awaiting trial in two other shooting cases, records show.


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