A Prince George's County man accused of stabbing his disabled mother about 75 times was convicted of premeditated murder yesterday, despite a defense claim that he was so high on drugs and alcohol at the time of the slaying that he could not have understood what he was doing.
Bobby Pringle, 30, who sometimes lived with his mother, Dorothy Mae Pringle, in her small Capitol Heights apartment, was charged with stabbing her 74 or 75 times and stealing her television set and radio last Aug. 21.
Family members described Dorothy Pringle as a devoutly religious woman who brought up seven children. She was slain on her 57th birthday.
"I think that verdict's good," said one of the defendant's brothers, Rickey Pringle. "He's my brother, yeah. And it's hard for a family member to accept that another family member could do something like this. But I saw how my mother died. I saw what she looked like."
The defendant testified Thursday at his Circuit Court trial that he had been drinking and was under the influence of crack cocaine and the psychedelic drug PCP on the night of the killing. He said he recalled arriving at his mother's apartment, and waking the next morning and finding her body. But the hours between were a blank, he testified.
Assistant State's Attorney Andrew Murray argued that Pringle not only killed his mother, but also was coherent enough to have understood what he was doing, making the slaying a premeditated, or first-degree, murder.
Defense attorney Maureen Lamasney argued that Pringle was not clear-headed enough to form a rational intent to kill his mother. She reminded the jurors that they had the option of finding Pringle guilty of second-degree, or unpremeditated, murder, or even manslaughter.
After about three hours of deliberations, the jury convicted Pringle of first-degree murder, as well as misdemeanor theft and other charges. First-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence in Maryland. Circuit Court Judge William D. Missouri scheduled sentencing for July 10.