- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 29, 2000

The leader of a group of teen-agers who assaulted, raped and robbed a 15-year-old girl was sentenced yesterday to life in prison plus 35 consecutive years.
In sentencing Harry Lee Williams, 19, Montgomery County [Md.] Circuit Judge Paul H. Weinstein said the crimes were the most despicable he could remember.
"I have been a judge 17 years. The facts in this case cry out for the court to go beyond the [sentencing] guidelines," Judge Weinstein said. "I've given you the maximum I can impose."
Williams will not be eligible for parole under Gov. Parris N. Glendening's policy that forbids early release for any convict serving life for a violent crime.
Williams, who led five teen-agers in the attack on the girl in a vacant Peppertree Farm apartment at Aspen Hill two years ago, showed no concern and occasionally smiled during the 90-minute sentencing in a Rockville courtroom yesterday.
Afterward, his sister said he will ask other judges to reconsider and reduce the sentence.
Before sentencing, Williams said, "The only one I can say thanks to is my sister." She and his attorney, Jim Savage, described Williams' cruel and depraved childhood, including beatings by his drunken father.
The life sentence was imposed for first-degree rape of the 15-year-old girl, and 25 consecutive years for assaulting her. Williams also was sentenced to 10 consecutive years for assaulting a Montgomery County jail guard.
The maximum sentence was sought by Assistant State's Attorneys Alexander Foster and Debra Dwyer.
"Because of the dangerousness of this man, he deserves life," Mr. Foster said.
Miss Dwyer added: "It's hard to comprehend the sheer evil of this case."
The girl, called "Amy" to protect her identity, said between sniffles that she considered giving up and dying, but "I wanted to live… . My life flashed before me the night I was raped by these brutal and determined boys."
It was the night of March 30, 1998, that Williams and another teen-ager encountered a 15-year-old Wheaton girl at the Metro station in Silver Spring. They enticed her to go with them to a vacant apartment in the Peppertree Farms complex in Aspen Hill, where they were joined by four other boys.
Williams had entered the ground-floor apartment through a back window. After a short while, the boys took the girl into a bathroom, where they began fondling her, according to police investigators.
When she screamed, Williams slugged her in the face, and she fell to the floor, briefly losing consciousness. Williams told her, "If you scream, I'll kill you," Mr. Foster said.
The beatings and sexual assaults continued until about 4 a.m., when Williams displayed a knife and threatened the girl if she told what had happened, Mr. Foster said. The six teen-agers took the girl's keys, a couple of dollars and her jacket. Before they left the apartment, they ordered her to clean up the condoms, cigarette butts and other debris and "turn out the light when you leave."
Three co-defendants previously pleaded guilty and are serving life sentences. They are Christopher Terry, then 16, of the 6300 block of Greentree Road of Bethesda; Antoine "Worm" Deon Haskins, then 16, of the 14200 block of Georgia Avenue, and Muhain "Ghost" Ud-dien Adam, then 18, of the 10500 block of Bucknell Drive in Wheaton.
Tyrone Anthony Moore, 15, of Silver Spring, was the only defendant waived to juvenile court. He was the youngest and smallest at 5 feet 3 inches and 120 pounds. Already suspended from middle school for setting two fires, he pleaded "responsible" for the rape and was sentenced to Charles H. Hickey Jr. School for Boys in Baltimore County but later was released to an uncle and aunt in Prince George's County under strict probation rules.
The sixth accused, Michael Andrease Lynch, now 21, of MacBeth Drive in Aspen Hill, is scheduled for trial April 24.
Yesterday, Mr. Savage criticized sentencing juveniles to a life in prison, especially when guidelines called for sentences between 27 and 45 years.
"Retribution is what we're talking about here," said Mr. Savage, arguing that the sentence gave Williams no chance for rehabilitation.
As the sentencing hearing began, Mr. Savage said Williams wanted to withdraw his guilty pleas and discharge Mr. Savage to get another attorney. Williams previously has protested the lawyers assigned to him by the public defender. He objected to the appointment of veteran assistant public defender Lois Reynolds Coon, a white woman, to handle his defense, claiming she was racially prejudiced in favor of the white victim.
Williams was only 17 when the assault occurred but was already 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighed 200-plus pounds. He was ringleader of "The 460 Crew," named after the Aspen Hill telephone exchange. His juvenile record surpassed the combined records of his co-defendants.
When Williams tried to have his case referred to juvenile court, his sister, Kisha Williams, 23, of Vienna, explained that he had been abused regularly from the age of 4 or 5 by an alcoholic father. As a result, she said, Williams never attained adulthood.
Williams lived in institutions much of the time from about age 9 on. He also spent time in St. Elizabeths Hospital in the District for psychiatric treatment.
During 20 months in the Hickey School in 1994 and 1995 for breaking and entering and assault with a deadly weapon, Williams was involved in 35 assaults on other youthful inmates and staff members, according to Frank Duncan, an official with the Department of Juvenile Justice.
At the juvenile court waiver hearing, Dr. Jean W. Smith of the psychiatric Clifton T. Perkins Hospital said Williams had sexual relations with about 50 women, at least one of whom gave birth to a baby, between his release from Hickey and arrest for the gang rape.
While in Montgomery County jail after his arrest, Williams was involved in nine assaultive incidents, including one in which he broke the nose of a guard.
Montgomery County police and corrections officers with a court order had ordered Williams to submit blood, hair and saliva samples. "You'd better get a lot of backup," Williams is quoted as saying, throwing a two-hole paper punch at the officers.
In the ensuing struggle, before officers could take the samples, he slugged Lt. Paul Sellers with a three-hole punch and broke the officer's nose.
Because of his troubles in Montgomery County jail, Williams was transferred to SuperMax prison in Baltimore.
He wore a stun belt into court yesterday so that deputies could control him if he became violent.

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