A Prince George's Circuit Court jury sentenced Julius Sylvester Bailey, 29, to life in prison last night, rejecting prosecution pleas that he be given the death sentence for kidnaping, raping and murdering Anne Boggs, a Catholic University student.
Last month the same jury convicted Bailey, of Northeast Washington, of all three crimes. Boggs, a 22-year-old architecture student, was abducted last December from a parking lot near the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, raped, and shot in the head.
Her body was dumped near a golf course on Lottsford Road in Prince George's. During the trial, a cousin of Bailey's testified that he had admitted killing Boggs.
Maryland law requires that a separate sentencing trial follow a guilty verdict in a case in which the prosecution is seeking the death penalty.
Circuit Court Judge Audrey Melbourne told the jury that under the law, they could only impose death if the aggravating circumstances of the crime outweighed the mitigating ones -- those factors favoring the defendant.
According to prosecutor Robert Harvey, the murder was aggravated by the fact that Bailey kidnaped and raped the young woman. Before the jury began its four-hour deliberation, Harvey told them to "send a message to the community that you are not going to tolerate this."
In Bailey's defense, his attorney, Russell Canan, portrayed him as a man from a splintered and impoverished childhood who was capable of mending his ways.
The jury also heard from the dead woman's sister, Rosemary Boggs, who said she had lost a friend as well as a sister, and that her sister's murder devastated the family.
At the close of the two-day sentencing trial, Bailey briefly addressed the jury, saying that while he had been found guilty, "I still maintain my innocence." He said he has learned a great deal in the months since his arrest, and as a dormitory representative at the county jail, he wants to impart this wisdom to those "who pass through the bowels of the prison system." Finally, Bailey told the jury, "God is merciful and I'm hoping God may move your spirits and show his mercy by saving my life."
Judge Melbourne must impose the life sentence on which the jury agreed. She has the option of also imposing up to an additional 65-year prison term.
The judge has not set a date for imposing sentence.
The jury recommended that Bailey not be paroled, but questions of parole are left to state parole officials.
Prosecutors have said Bailey was a "one-man crime wave" last December. He has already been convicted of two separate kidnapings in that month when he forced the victims, at gunpoint, to withdraw money from their bank accounts.
Bailey is also charged with attempted murder and he faces trial in the murder of an Adelphi cabdriver in which the state is seeking the death penalty.