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Crime

After plea, prosecutors seek 25-year sentence for Elkridge man in 2020 Glen Burnie homicide

An Elkridge man entered an Alford plea to second-degree murder last week ahead of his planned trial on murder charges stemming from his involvement in a robbery where police say his accomplice shot two people in Glen Burnie, killing a 24-year-old.

Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess said in a statement that prosecutors will be seeking a 25-year prison term during 24-year-old Alkein Alphonzo Coates Jr.’s sentencing hearing on Nov. 21. Police believe two other men, including the man who shot Richard Clarence Ramsay III, accompanied Coates during the botched drug deal on Feb. 22, 2020, but have not yet charged any other suspects.

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Police and prosecutors said Coates and the two accomplices traveled to Poplar Avenue in Glen Burnie for what appeared to be a marijuana sale. The three entered a garage and announced a robbery, and one of them shot Ramsay in the head, also injuring a 26-year-old witness, police said. Ramsay was declared dead at the scene, while the 26-year-old was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injures.

The next week, police found evidence linking Coates to the incident, according to a news release from the State’s Attorney’s office. Police later arrested him in a separate armed robbery case, before charging him with murder in August, according to court records. The other two suspects have not been identified publicly or charged.

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“I hope this guilty plea and the sentence provides Mr. Ramsay’s family with some level of closure and peace during this challenging time,” Leitess said in a statement. “The state will continue to hold every person contributing to gun violence accountable, whether they pulled the trigger or helped the trigger-puller.”

Coates entered an Alford plea to second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence last Wednesday during a motions hearing before Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Mark W. Crooks, according to a news release from the State’s Attorney’s office. An Alford plea is not an admission of guilt, but concedes that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict.

Assistant State’s Attorneys Glen Neubauer and Josh Adrian are prosecuting the case. Coates is being represented by the Office of the Public Defender.


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