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Man given 2 life terms for fatal beatings

A 20-year-old Kansas man was sentenced to two consecutive life prison terms yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court for the 2001 bludgeoning deaths of two homeless men in South Baltimore - killings that he and his friends boasted would "clean up" the neighborhood, according to police.

Michael Wayne Farmer of Westmoreland, Kan., was arrested last year after he and friends bragged about what they called "bum stomping," or beating up homeless men, prosecutors said.

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Farmer, who was living in Baltimore at the time of the attacks, pleaded guilty Sept. 5 to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of transients Gerald Joseph Holle, 55, and George Williams, 46.

Holle and Williams were two of seven homeless men who were attacked in South Baltimore between February 2001 and June 2001, according to Assistant State's Attorney Michelle Grunwell, who prosecuted the cases.

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Four of the seven victims were seriously injured. Another victim, Harry Lawhorn, 47, also died. Farmer is not charged in that case, but another man, Harold "Jay" Waterbury, 19, of the 1700 block of S. Hanover St., has been charged with first-degree murder in the death.

Waterbury is also charged in Williams' death and is awaiting trial in November. Farmer is expected to be a key witness against him.

Daniel Ennis, 18, of the 1700 block of S. Hanover St. was sentenced last month to 20 years in prison for his role in Holle's beating death.

The three men are believed to have used baseball bats, crowbars and large sticks in the assaults, prosecutors said.

Holle's partially decomposed body was discovered in April 2001 under a bridge in South Baltimore. An autopsy showed that he died of numerous skull fractures.

Farmer pleaded guilty to Holle's murder, as well as the killing of Williams, whose body was discovered on Eutaw Street in March 2001.


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