2 stabbings, one fatal, draw a prison term of life plus 25 years

The Baltimore Sun

Saying that the defendant was guilty of "vicious and premeditated crimes," a Baltimore judge sentenced Demetries Sturgis yesterday to life in prison plus 25 years for fatally stabbing a 17-year-old and assaulting another man with a knife.

Assistant State's Attorney Kevin Wiggins recommended that sentence, saying that Sturgis has been convicted six times for various offenses and has violated probation. While in prison for one offense, Sturgis stabbed a guard, Wiggins said.

But Tom Kane, the defense attorney, asked for some of the prison time to be suspended, noting that his client is 22 years old.

Before announcing her sentence Circuit Judge Kaye Allison said: "A judge in this position is torn, wanting to allow a young man to walk away at some point from what was obviously a grave mistake and protecting the citizens of Baltimore and Maryland.

"These were vicious and premeditated crimes. The record that Sturgis has convinces this court that he won't conform to society's rules."

In June, a jury convicted Sturgis of first-degree murder for the killing of Rasheed Stevenson, 17, and first-degree assault for stabbing Larry Reed. Reed, of the 1400 block of N. Bond St., who survived.

About 2:30 a.m. July 18, 2006, an argument broke out in the 400 block of Whitridge Ave. According to testimony, Sturgis left the fight and then returned with a knife and stabbed both victims.

The defendant and the murder victim grew up in a neighborhood off Greenmount Avenue. Robert Stevenson, the murder victim's father, said the family moved to the 500 block of Sheridan Ave. three years ago after a storm blew the roof off their house.

"I've been so broken down by this situation," Stevenson said. "I hardly sleep anymore."

Stevenson said that his son kept going back to the old neighborhood to spend time with friends.

Sturgis did not address the court. His eyes narrowed when he looked at his father, Larry Sturgis, who was seated in the courtroom directly behind the father of the victim.

After the sentencing, Larry Sturgis said that he has been in and out of prison and has not been involved in his son's life.

"I'm hurt about my son," he said. "It is just crazy, what just took place. I'm just sitting here still stunned."

He said that his son maintains his innocence.

No motive was discussed during the sentencing, and relatives of the victim and the defendant denied reports of gang involvement. annie.linskey@baltsun.com

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