A Baltimore circuit judge sentenced two teenagers to prison Tuesday in the stabbing of a Patterson Park woman during a burglary at her home two years ago.
Allen Pinkney, now 19, who pleaded guilty to murder Tuesday, and Alonzo Gorham-Ramos, now 17, who pleaded guilty in December, received life with all but 45 years suspended, plus five years probation, in the January 2014 stabbing of Kim Leto, 51.
Attorneys for both defendants sought lesser sentences because their clients were juveniles when they were charged, arguing that neither would benefit from a lengthy sentence.
But Judge Timothy Doory said that "the sentence you imposed to Kim Leto and her family is horrendous," and warranted additional prison time.
Leto's sister, Diane Posko, spoke briefly at the hearing, describing her pain at the loss. "That is my life sentence," she said.
She said for the last two years she has been a victim, but wants her life back, to feel compassion, love and "maybe some kind of forgiveness."
Gorham-Ramos' attorneys argued he did not fully understand what he had done, and lacked maturity. Because he is intelligent, they argued, a lesser sentence would allow him to make something of his life.
Gorham-Ramos, who wore a yellow polo shirt and khakis, black-rimmed glasses and shackles, spoke at length to the judge about the person he wants to be. He said he has converted to Islam, is writing an autobiography and wants to be a father to his young daughter.
He also expressed remorse. "I want to apologize to the Leto family. I do feel responsible for everything that happened," he said.
Attorney John Hassett said Pinkney had multiple psychological issues, and has regressed since being incarcerated. Pinkney had trouble reading and writing, he said, and rarely attended school.
Pinkney stood in a yellow inmate uniform and told the judge he took care of Gorham-Ramos before the murder, "treated him like my brother." He then blamed Gorham-Ramos for the murder.
"Don't believe this persona," he said, until his attorney and family members in the gallery urged him to sit down.
As he announced his sentence, Doory said that he felt both were equally responsible in carrying out the murder.
"Together you are far more dangerous than the two of you could be alone," he said.
Doory said he found it hard to believe that the defendants would become different people with lesser sentences.
"Only time will tell," Doory said.