BALTIMORE (WJZ) — From rejection to stalking to murder.
A deadly progression that’s been seen before, but this time it was made possible by a loophole in Maryland law.
Alex DeMetrick reports, convicted sex offenders aren’t allowed normal guns, but they can have antique gun replicas.
Sade Adebayo, 24, was murdered in 2015 by a man she had broken up with.
Donald Bricker Jr. confessed after being injured during a police chase.
Surveillance video from a Target store in Montgomery County caught the murder in the distance.
A puff of smoke shows one of the shots, fired from a replica of an antique pistol that uses black powder to fire a shot.
“It may have looked like an 1851 weapon, but it fired like a 2017 manufactured modern handgun that was capable of lethal force,” says Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.
A large variety of antique replicas can be found on the internet. Bricker got his that way, even though as a registered sex offender, he could not purchase a modern weapon.
“But we allow them to have replica firearms which are just as capable and just as lethal as the firearms we prevent them from having,” McCarthy says. “It doesn’t make any sense.”
“[Sade] loved life,” her mother Cassandra Atkins says. “She’s very compassionate. And she did not deserve to die because of someone purchasing this replica over the internet.”
A bill closing that loophole is before the state legislature.
Sade’s murder started the move to keep registered sex offenders, felons and those with violent histories from purchasing the replica weapons.
It’s far from certain this bill becomes law, but if the loophole is closed, “It will spare mothers going through this agony that I’m going through right now,” Atkins says.
Bricker was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.