Man pleads guilty in Pumphrey homicide

The Baltimore Sun

A crack-cocaine dealer looking for a client he thought had stolen his cell phone admitted yesterday that he killed one of several witnesses to an armed confrontation in a trailer in Pumphrey.

Daniel "Little D" Lawson, 21, of no fixed address pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and a handgun violation before Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Ronald A. Silkworth.

Under the arrangement, he will be sentenced next week to life with all but 35 years suspended to allow the family of James William Fabian, 36, of Halethorpe to prepare statements for the judge. Fourteen less serious charges from the crime and drug charges from his arrest will be dropped.

Assistant State's Attorney Michael A. Dunty described a menacing scene that turned fatal.

He said events leading to Fabian's death March 6 began late the previous night. About 9 p.m., Anthony Scardina Jr., 19, of Glen Burnie lent his car to Lawson in exchange for drugs, Dunty said.

But that night, because his father was home, Scardina did not give Lawson the car. Instead, he dropped Lawson and his friend off in Baltimore and went to the trailer in the Belle Grove Mobile Home Park.

Later, Lawson knocked on the trailer door. Inside, he brandished a handgun, accusing Scardina of stealing his cell phone. He also called for an unidentified second person to come in, Dunty said.

Lawson forced everyone to get on the floor, bound them with tube socks, robbed them and broke a guitar on Scardina's head, Dunty said.

"Now you got all these innocent people in trouble, too, and now I am going to have to take care of them," Dunty said Lawson told Scardina.

"He also stated to one of the victims that he was going to blow his brains out," Dunty said.

Assistant public defender William Davis denied that Lawson made the threats.

Lawson smacked another victim, Edward Kramer 44, of Baltimore, with the guitar and kicked and stomped on his legs and ribs, the prosecutor said.

Lawson and the second person put Scardina in his car. Scardina denied stealing his cell phone, which Lawson's friend later told him he found in Scardina's car, Dunty said.

Lawson returned to the trailer - this time, kicking in the door - but Scardina had fled from the car to a nearby home and called 911, Dunty said.

Lawson forced Scardina's father, Anthony Scardina Sr., 51, of Lansdowne, and Gary Jackson, 57, who lived in the mobile home, into the bathroom, then placed Kramer and Fabian in the kitchen-living room area, the prosecutor said.

Dunty said Fabian and the elder Scardina freed themselves and ran to the back bedroom while Kramer freed himself and ran into the bathroom.

As the elder Scardina fled through a window, he heard a gunshot and Fabian say, "Ow," Dunty said.

Police arrived about 2:20 a.m. to find Fabian, a father of four who was separated from his wife, dead. An autopsy indicated that he was shot once in the chest and had cocaine and alcohol in his system.

"I don't care what he did or what he was into, it don't give anyone the right to take his life," his mother, Rosemary Fabian, said yesterday.

Fabian's sister, Barbara Mahoney, said her brother was facing drug charges, was going into a drug treatment program and about to start job training in an effort to change his life.

Lawson was arrested March 9 when he went to see his probation agent in the Glen Burnie District Courthouse. A search turned up crack cocaine and marijuana on Lawson, Dunty said.

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