- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 30, 2001

Lack of remorse was the paramount issue at yesterday's sentencing hearing for Carlton Blount — the young man convicted of killing a Woodrow Wilson High School couple Feb. 8 of last year — so much so that Judge Russell F. Canan said: "You must be locked up for the rest of your life."
The confessed drug dealer and convicted murderer of Andre Wallace and Natasha Marsh, both 17, must serve a minimum of 45 years and a maximum of 65 years, U.S. prosecutors said. The killer must serve consecutive sentences on seven felony convictions — including first- and second-degree murder, obstruction of justice and possession of a firearm.
Prosecutors had asked for a sentence of life without the possibility of parole, but such a sentence was unlawful because Blount was convicted of only one first-degree murder charge. Two convictions are needed for the life sentence. The District does not exercise the death penalty.
"Not only should he be sentenced to life, but as a part of that sentence he should have to conduct seminars speaking to youth in similar situations or close to it," said Kevin Thomas, an uncle of Miss Marsh's.
This view was reiterated by Laura Wallace, Andre's mother, who instead of reading a written statement, spoke directly to Blount during her opportunity to address the court. "I don't hate you and I'm sure Andre doesn't hate you … but I ask that you talk to your followers to educate them on what they should do with their lives. Show them a better way," said Mrs. Wallace.
"At least you can still do some good for your community in that way," she said.
Natasha's father, Tyrone Thomas, said: "There can be no satisfaction here despite the sentence. My daughter is gone; there is some closure, but I continue to grieve for her."
To the end Blount, 20, claimed his innocence, showing no remorse and even, occasionally, smiling at courtroom spectators.
"It is your right to claim your innocence, but to show no remorse for the tragedy in any way is unacceptable," Judge Canan said.
The most damaging evidence in the case came from two men who were with Blount on the night of the shooting. They testified that Blount got out of a Ford Expedition and walked up to Andre and Natasha — after searching for two hours — then shot both of them, and continued to shoot them several more times as they lay on the ground
Blount was originally to be sentenced on May 11, but after writing a number of letters expressing the incompetence of his representation, he was given new counsel, and his sentencing was postponed.
Blount must serve the full term of 30 years for the first-degree murder charge for killing Natasha, and he must serve 15 years of a 20-year sentence for the second-degree murder conviction for killing Andre, Judge Canan said. Those charges alone will keep Blount in jail until he is 70 years old.
On Feb. 8, 2000, Blount got into a fight with Andre at a Wilson High School basketball game. Some students speculated that jealousy of the couple's relationship led to the fight, which subsequently led to the shooting.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide