ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ/HOWARD COUNTY STATE’S ATTORNEY’S OFFICE) — A Howard County jury has convicted a 22-year-old of attempted first-degree murder, kidnapping and other charges in connection with the execution-style shooting of a 15-year-old boy.
On June 19, 2012, the victim was found in a Marriottsville field, suffering from a gunshot wound to the back of the neck.
The jury deliberated for 11 hours over three days before returning the verdict for Donald George Peoples, Jr.
According to prosecutors, the victim had been mistakenly identified by two assailants, including Peoples, as responsible for a “$200 marijuana rip off” and was abducted from a sidewalk near his Reisterstown home. His abductors drove to a home in Randallstown where a third defendant in the case produced a .22 caliber rifle and drove with them to Marriottsville.
The victim testified against Peoples during the trial but was not present in the courtroom when the verdict was announced.
Prosecutors say a bullet fragment remains lodged near the victim’s brain stem.
Peoples was found guilty of attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, kidnapping, first-degree assault, use of a firearm in a crime of violence/attempted first-degree murder, use of a firearm in a crime of violence/kidnapping and robbery.
The jury found Peoples not guilty of armed robbery.
Peoples faces a potential maximum sentence of two consecutive life sentences plus up to 85 years in prison.
He will be sentenced Jan. 30, 2014.
Last July, one of Peoples’ co-defendants pleaded guilty to felony charges for her role in the abduction and shooting. Chiquita Sketers, 22, was sentenced to 25 years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted first-degree murder and use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence.
A third defendant, Laura Christian Karr, 26, of Reisterstown, will be tried Dec. 2.
During Peoples’ trial, Karr testified against Peoples, who was described as Karr’s boyfriend and the father of their child.
Prosecutors acknowledged to the jury that a plea offer is in the works in exchange for her testimony in Peoples’ trial.
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