One of four young men charged with stealing Cal Ripken Jr.'s aluminum No. 8 sculpture from in front of Camden Yards in September pleaded guilty to theft Wednesday morning and was sentenced to a two-year suspended jail term and ordered to pay the Orioles restitution, according to Baltimore prosecutors.
Jason Stoneburner, 19, of Essex also was put on two years of probation and must perform 35 hours of community service. A District Court judge ordered the man to pay the baseball team $1,904.50 in the next nine months. If he completes all the terms of his sentence, prosecutors said the conviction could be turned into probation before judgment, which would in effect wipe the case off his permanent criminal record.
Three other defendants charged in the case - Matthew Rayner, 20, Patrick Reynolds, 18, and Gary Parker, 19 - have elected to have jury trials on their charges of theft and destruction of property. Their trials are scheduled to begin Friday in Baltimore Circuit Court.
Police said the men, apparently after a night of drinking, ripped the 3 1/2 -foot sculpture off its base at the Eutaw Street entrance to the ballpark, threw it into the back of a pickup truck and drove it through the city. They were arrested after getting into an argument near Patterson Park, and police who responded found the broken sculpture in the truck, authorities said.
The aluminum number is one of several at Camden Yards honoring Orioles greats.