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20 years for Md. bar fight shooting

Clinton C. Mitchell had boxing skills, which he put to use in a bar fight against Lawrence M. Finch, who had no such training.

Finch, though, had a gun, which he used to to shoot Mitchell multiple times, once in the head.

Mitchell, 28, survived. Finch, 25, will pay a stiff price for indulging his anger: A Prince George's County Circuit Court Judge on Friday sentenced Finch to 20 years in prison.

"Let this conviction and sentence stand serve as a stark reminder that a moment in anger can cost nearly a lifetime of regret behind bars," State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said.

The encounter that landed Finch behind bars occurred after midnight last Oct. 17 inside the Bottom Line Bar in Clinton, prosecutors said. Finch, known as "Little Head," and Mitchell began jawing at each other. The verbal argument became physical. Bar employees and patrons stopped the fight, and both men were asked to leave.

Finch and Mitchell drove away in separate vehicles. While driving to his home in Clinton, Mitchell noticed Finch following him.

Both men stopped and exited their vehicles. They walked toward each other.

Finch pulled out a handgun and shot Mitchell in the stomach, groin, and hand. As Mitchell fell to the ground, Finch stood over him and shot him in the head, then got in his vehicle and drove away.

Mitchell was taken to Prince George's Hospital Center, where he underwent emergency surgery. After coming out of surgery, Mitchell identified Finch by name, and picked him out of a photo spread.

On April 21, Finch pleaded guilty to second-degree attempted murder and using a handgun in a crime of violence.

The sentence, imposed by Circuit Court Judge Larnzell Martin Jr., also calls for Finch to be placed on three years of supervised probation after his release.

-- Ruben Castaneda

By Ruben Castaneda  |  June 18, 2010; 5:13 PM ET
Categories:  From the Courthouse , Pr. George's , Ruben Castaneda  
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I like this judge.

Posted by: FiatBooks | June 18, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Appropriate sentence and a message to others who would be so cowardly as to assault someone using a gun.

Posted by: DecafDrinker | June 19, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

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