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Man sentenced in Jonathan Street shooting

February 10, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

Bobby Damien Coleman was silent Tuesday as he was sentenced to 35 years in prison for his actions in an April 1998 shooting in which the occupant of a car traveling on Jonathan Street was wounded.

While acknowledging that the people in that car that day were not random targets, Washington County Circuit Judge Kennedy Boone expressed his concern Tuesday about the escalating violence in the community.

"One of these days, somebody's going to get shot - an innocent victim," Boone said.

A jury on Jan. 27 convicted Coleman, 21, a New York native, of all 14 counts against him.

Boone imposed a 30-year sentence for attempted second-degree murder, a 25-year concurrent sentence on each of three counts of first-degree assault, and a five-year consecutive sentence for use of a handgun in commission of a crime of violence. Sentences were not imposed on all counts.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Arthur Rozes described the events of April 8 as an extremely serious crime.

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"The cycle of violence has to be broken," Rozes said, noting that Coleman has eight aliases and has never held a job during the two years he has lived in Washington County.

The April 8 shooting occurred around 10:30 p.m. as Jennifer Scardina and her four passengers were driving through the 300 block of North Jonathan Street, court records said.

"Coleman pulls out a 9mm ... blazing away, striking one of them and then he ran away," Rozes said.

Passenger Tyler Moore was hit in the arm by one round and taken to Washington County Hospital for treatment.

Testimony revealed that Coleman and the four occupants of the car all knew each other previously and had had problems.

Coleman remained at large until May 12 when Hagerstown City Police got a tip that he was in a Manor Drive apartment, police reports said.

The gun used in the shooting was found in that apartment, according to testimony from an FBI ballistics witness.

Defense attorney Eric Reed argued for merging sentences at Tuesday's hearing.

Rozes asked for maximum sentences and a consecutive handgun sentence.

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