Convicted Child Killer Gets 12 Years in Mall Carjacking Case

… Arthur Tyler Felton was previously convicted of 1991 slaying of 6-year-old in Baltimore …

By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun

5:23 PM EDT, July 18, 2011

Arthur Tyler Felton, who served more than 14 years in prison for killing a 6-year-old girl in Baltimore in 1991, was sentenced Monday to serve 12 years in prison for a carjacking outside the Annapolis Mall.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Paul A. Hackner suspended the rest of a 30-year sentence in favor of five years’ probation, said a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office.

Because Felton, 38, is a repeat violent offender, he would have to serve 10 years without the possibility of parole.

Hackner had been considering giving Felton that sentence since a plea hearing in March.

In a plea deal that he later tried to back out of, Felton, of Annapolis, entered an Alford plea in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court — maintaining his innocence but acknowledging that there was sufficient evidence to convict him.

Felton told Hackner at the March 3 hearing that he didn’t think he’d be able to get a fair trial.

“I can assure you that you would get a fair trial,” Hackner replied. “I can’t assure you that it would turn out the way you’d like.”

According to a recording of the March hearing, Assistant State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess said she agreed to the plea, in which shoplifting charges were dropped because “carjacking was the top count” and state sentencing guidelines called for imprisonment of six to 12 years.

Assistant Public Defender Stacy McCormack argued then that Felton did not intend to carjack the victim, Mun Livingston, but was trying to escape the store security workers chasing him. Felton’s mind-set, she said, was “I just want to go back to work, I just want to get out of here.” Carjacking was not part of the plan, she said. “He never intended to place her in fear. He never intended to get possession of the vehicle,” McCormack said.

The argument was reminiscent of one Felton made two decades ago. In 1991, Felton was aiming for someone else when he fatally shot Tiffany Smith in the head during a gun battle in West Baltimore. The shooting outraged the city, led to promises to revitalize the neighborhood and sparked the creation of “Tiffany Square,” a small public space memorializing the child.

Convicted of second-degree murder, Felton was sentenced to 30 years in prison, with all but 18 suspended. He was freed in 2005 and was returned to prison for a year for violating the conditions of his release.

Released again, he had completed his probation about three months before the Anne Arundel County carjacking that police said took place on July 27, 2010 — 19 years after Tiffany was fatally shot.

Leitess said Felton was seen on a store security video shoplifting an MP3 player and cellphone from Sears at the Annapolis Mall, then ran from security workers.

The chase went through the mall parking lot, Lord & Taylor — where another security guard joined the pursuit — a garage ramp and toward busy Bestgate Road, a street adjacent to the mall.

Felton ran into the road and opened a rear door of a stopped car driven by Livingston, got in, touched her hand and told her, “Go, go, go, the police are chasing me,” Leitess said.

When the security guards reached Livingston’s car and opened the door near Felton, he swung at them, Leitess said. Initially, they thought he might have a box cutter in his hand, but he did not. It was found in his pocket after the security workers held him for police, Leitess said.

Leitess said Felton told authorities that he was shoplifting the MP3 player as a gift for his children while he was on a break from work.

McCormack said the store security workers had no authority to chase her client beyond their stores.

Copyright © 2011, The Baltimore Sun


… Goodbye, Mr. Felton. …


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