The Crime Scene - To Serve and Inform

Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 2:00 PM ET, 01/24/2011

4th plea expected in principal case

By Dan Morse

The last of four 19-year-olds charged in the murder investigation of well-known principal Brian Betts is scheduled to plead guilty to lesser charges on Wednesday, according to Montgomery County Circuit Court records, bringing prosecution of the case to a close.

Deontra Q. Gray is set to plead guilty to robbery and a weapons charge, according to a plea agreement reached between both sides in the case. Sentencing recommendations call for 16 to 27 years, according to court papers, although such guidelines are sometimes debated in court and are not binding.

Gray's trial had been set to begin Jan. 31.

His attorney, Barbara Graham, long maintained that the evidence tying him to Betts's slaying was weak. She said Monday that Gray went to Betts's house the night the principal was killed, in April, but he never went inside the house.

Prosecutors have said he did go into the house, along with three others: Alante Saunders, Sharif Lancaster, and Joel Johnson.

Saunders has admitted to pulling the trigger during the course of a robbery. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Lancaster and Johnson have yet to be sentenced, according to court records.

After Betts was killed, his stolen credit cards were used. Gray was inside a store when one of the cards was used, Graham said. "His involvement was all after-the-fact," Graham said.

Lancaster's mother, Artura Williams, a relatively minor player in the case, also has pleaded guilty.

By Dan Morse  | January 24, 2011; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse, Montgomery  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Metro threat suspect seeks pre-trial release
Next: Man fatally shot in Pr. George's

Comments

Ironic considering the "right to life" folks are marching today...

Posted by: 10bestfan | January 24, 2011 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Yes, 10best fan, it is ironic. But let's face the truth: Right-to-lifers don't care one iota about people who are already alive. In fact, they are the loudest supporters of capital punishment and the Second Amendment.

Posted by: williamhuxtan | January 25, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"bringing prosecution of the case to a close"....the most laughable line in the article.

MoCo county prosecutors let each of these thugs plead to lesser charges so they didn't have to bother with the expense of a trial. So these creeps get off with lesser sentences even though they did the crime. And all because prosecutors are LAZY.

And this is what we pay our taxes for? I don't care what the court costs would be, these 4 should ALL have been given life sentences. It was premeditated robbery and murder.

Posted by: B-rod | January 25, 2011 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Yes, 10best fan, it is ironic. But let's face the truth: Right-to-lifers don't care one iota about people who are already alive. In fact, they are the loudest supporters of capital punishment and the Second Amendment.

Posted by: williamhuxtan | January 25, 2011 9:38 AM | Report abuse

************************************************************************************************No. Your wrong. Right to Lifers hold a variety of viewpoints, outside of giving the unborn children a chance at life. I find it sad that you used the vehicle of a horrendous murder to vent yourself.

Posted by: jnrentz@aol.com | January 25, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

She said Monday that Gray went to Betts's house the night the principal was killed, in April, but he never went inside the house.
--------------------
16-27 years for not even going in the house is crazy. I wonder how much time he would've received if he put 1 foot in the house, life? These kids did wrong but they are getting railroaded big time by the prosecutor. A "white" Montgomery County teacher pleaded guilty to robbing a bank and a drug store with a gun and received 18 months probation.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | January 25, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Hey publicenemy1... the kid might have not gone into the house but he was placed at teh scene of the murder and he knew about the murder and went to use the credit cards or a murdered man with his mother, no less!!!! You know what gets him off, if he had no part and wanted no part, calling the police when it happened but oh yeah, word on street, no snitchin... dont want him to lose his street cred! All four should be gone for life or the way I see it... eye for an eye. Take a life intentionally, you lose yours! These jack offs got off basically scott free for conspring and committing an armed robbery and MURDER! Our court system and our laws are soooo soft because some lawmakers and and citizens etc... have gotten soft!

Posted by: rvanags | January 25, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company