Man pleads guilty to killing 5 older Baltimore residents; deal rules out death penalty
BALTIMORE – A 35-year-old man pleaded guilty Friday to murdering five older residents during six years under a plea deal that let him avoid a possible death penalty.Under a deal with prosecutors, Raymont Hopewell will receive four consecutive terms of life imprisonment without parole in four of the deaths when he is sentenced next month.The four women and one man, who ranged in age from early 60s to 88, were found dead in their homes between February 1999 and August 2005. The women had been raped. DNA evidence led to Hopewell’s arrest a month after the last death, of Carlton Crawford, 83.Hopewell, whose arrest record dates to 1989 and includes drug possession, assault and battery, didn’t speak during his court appearance.Family members said they were appalled by his lack of remorse.”He’s just a wicked dude,” said Robin Carter, the daughter-in-law of 78-year-old victim Lydia Wingfield. “He doesn’t deserve to live one second more.”John Mack, whose mother Sadie was murdered by Hopewell in May 2005, said he didn’t mind that Hopewell avoided any chance of execution because such a sentence would bring a long delay in justice.”We’d rather him just rot in jail,” Mack said.Prosecution spokesman Joseph Sviatko said his office sought the plea agreement with Hopewell to “get him off the street for the rest of his life.”Sentencing was set for Sept. 14.Besides the consecutive life terms in the four murders, Hopewell also will receive five other life sentences for crimes including rape and the fifth murder. The deal also includes lengthy sentences for assault, robbery with a deadly weapon and burglary.
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