- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 15, 2002

ANNAPOLIS (AP) More than 70 people, including some top police officials, do not want convicted murderer Kenneth James Lodowski to be allowed to legally change his name.
Lodowski, who served 16 years in prison for a double murder, filed a petition in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court in August to change his name to Garrett Michael Keane. His mother's maiden name is Keane.
Among those signing affidavits objecting to the request are state police Superintendent David Mitchell and Prince George's County Police Chief Gerald Wilson.
Law enforcement officials fear that a name change would allow Lodowski to circumvent handgun-registration databases that police use to deny guns to convicted felons.
Granting the name change "would be in effect allowing him a back-door method of getting an expungement of his felony criminal record that he is not entitled to," Chief Wilson said in a petition opposing the name change.
Sharon Benzil McCain, deputy counsel for the state police, said Lodowski "brought about any stigma associated with his wrongdoings."
"He should [not] be permitted to hide, both literally and figuratively, from those acts," Miss McCain wrote.
Lodowski was convicted and sentenced to death for shooting Carlton Fletcher, an off-duty Prince George's County police officer, and Minh Phamdo, assistant manager at a Greenbelt mini-mart, during a 1983 robbery.
The Maryland Court of Appeals later overturned his conviction, saying police had denied him a lawyer during his interrogation.
Facing a new trial in 1987, Lodowski pleaded guilty and received two consecutive life terms. Those terms were later combined into a single 25-year term and he was paroled in January 2000.
Lodowski said in his petition that he would continue to reveal his convictions when required to do so by law, but "does not desire to disclose involvement in social settings."
Members of the two victims' families also filed papers with the circuit court objecting to the name change. Also objecting were Judith Sachwald, director of the Division of Parole and Probation, and numerous members of the Stephanie Roper Committee and Foundation, an advocacy group for victims' rights.


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