A 48-year-old man was convicted of first-degree murder yesterday in the October shooting of a South Baltimore carryout owner who was killed during a dispute over a $4.75 cheese-steak sandwich, according to city prosecutors.
William Langley of the 2400 block of Pickering Drive in Parkville is to be sentenced by Circuit Court Judge Robert W. Brown on Sept. 6. A jury deliberated about seven hours over two days before finding him guilty of murder and using a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence.
Prosecutors said Langley got into a dispute over a food order with Nae Chun Pak inside the carryout in the 600 block of Cherry Hill Road in Cherry Hill. They said Pak refunded Langley's money - as well as a 25-cent tip - and Langley left the store, only to return with a gun to shoot Pak in the head.
A 25-year-old Korean exchange student - who attended Catonsville Community College and was working in the carryout to earn spending money - was standing next to Pak when he was killed. She returned to Baltimore from Korea this week to testify.
"She felt as though it was her responsibility to come back," Assistant State's Attorney Mary-Ann Burkhart said in an interview yesterday. "She owed that to Mr. Pak and his surviving family."
Burkhart, who prosecuted the case, said she was pleased with outcome. "This was such a tragic, senseless shooting," she said. "It was something that never should have happened. I'm very grateful we were able to give some closure to the Pak family."
Pak had a wife, twin 16-year-old daughters and a 9-year-old son. He lived in Clarksville and had owned the carryout for six years. Burkhart said his family continues to run the carryout in Cherry Hill.
In 1977, Langley pleaded guilty to fatally shooting a man at a Cherry Hill recreation center and served 22 years in prison. He now faces life plus 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in September.
His public defender, Martin Dorsey, did not return calls seeking comment.