Girl gets 18 months in carjacking

The Baltimore Sun

A 17-year-old Howard County girl was sentenced yesterday to 18 months in jail for carjacking a Columbia teen -- a stranger who offered her a ride home from Arundel Mills mall in June and ended up beaten with a hammer and left on the roadside.

Anne Arundel County Judge Paul A. Hackner sentenced Tierra Lashawn Powell to seven years in the state prison system but suspended all but 18 months, which she will serve at the county jail in Glen Burnie. Prosecutors had asked Hackner to follow guidelines calling for four to nine years behind bars.

According to Assistant State's Attorney Crighton Chase, Powell approached an 18-year-old girl at a gas station on June 30 and asked for a ride. Powell then persuaded the victim, who was on her way to work at the Hanover mall, to pick up two friends at a bus stop.

The victim received a call later that day from one of the girls, who said she had forgotten her purse in the back seat, Chase said. The victim drove back to the mall to return it, then agreed to give them another ride.

One of the girls yanked the victim's hair as she drove, while a second girl jabbed a hard object in her side and ordered her to pull over or they would kill her, Chase said.

She stopped the car on Route 100 and ran out of the car. The other girls chased and beat her with a hammer, then drove off, the prosecutor said.

Powell was behind the wheel when the victim was left on the roadside. The car was found two weeks later in Howard County, driven by Powell's boyfriend. The hammer was in the trunk, with Powell's fingerprints on it, Chase said. Powell's defense attorney, David P. Putzi, disputed that Powell used the hammer.

After Powell pleaded guilty yesterday, prosecutors sought to have her sentenced in the state Division of Correction, a "tough love approach" to "see where her life is headed." But Hackner said the state system was inappropriate and too dangerous for someone her age, who appeared to have made great strides while incarcerated.

A co-defendant, Sable Brooke Archer, 18, of Columbia is scheduled to plead guilty at a hearing on Monday. Police have not identified the third attacker.

Sun reporter Nicole Fuller contributed to this article.

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