A Montgomery County jury convicted a Gaithersburg man last week of murdering a 21-year-old man by shooting him in the back of the head behind Brown Station Elementary School in July 2003.
Joseph Nathan Bellamy, 21, of the 700 block of Quince Orchard Boulevard in Gaithersburg was convicted of first-degree murder and using a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence. He faces a maximum possible sentence of life in prison without parole when he is sentenced Dec. 8 in Montgomery County Circuit Court.
Bellamy was on probation for a 2001 burglary conviction at the time of the killing.
He shot 21-year-old Jermaine Robert Carter twice -- once in the back of the head and once in the shoulder -- early in the morning on July 25, 2003. Prosecutors and police said he was angry at Carter after the two had a confrontation in summer 2002.
Bellamy's conviction, which came after less than three hours of deliberation last Tuesday, was for just one of more than a dozen charges he faces in six separate incidents dating to November 2000.
Bellamy is scheduled to be tried in coming weeks on several more allegations:
* Attacking Dallas Waters at Waters's Quince Orchard Boulevard apartment April 17, 2003. Bellamy is charged with first-degree assault; he is accused of punching Waters with brass knuckles and kicking him repeatedly "with enough force to lift Waters off the ground several times," according to charging documents filed in Montgomery County Circuit Court. Trial date: Oct. 25.
* Assaulting Daniel Rothwell, an inmate at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility, on June 1. Bellamy was in custody at the jail after being charged with Carter's death, and prosecutors say he assaulted Rothwell because he believed Rothwell had snitched on him to police. Trial date: Nov. 15.
* Robbing four young men June 7, 2003. Bellamy is accused of accosting the men in the 800 block of Quince Orchard Boulevard -- at the apartment complex where he lived -- and stealing $65 in cash, a $400 gold necklace and two cell phones. Bellamy told the victims that if they didn't give him their possessions, he would "take care of you with my 9" -- referring to a 9mm handgun, court records show. Bellamy then lifted his shirt, implying he had a gun in his waistband, according to a statement of charges filed in court. Trial date: Nov. 22.
* Violating his probation for a 2001 conviction on charges of burglary and theft. Though 17 at the time, Bellamy was charged as an adult and pleaded guilty Jan. 23, 2001, to the charges. He was sentenced that March to three years of probation. Bellamy's probation violation hearing is set for Nov. 17.
Bellamy's attorney, public defender Ronald Gottlieb, declined to comment on the charges against his client.
On June 30, a jury convicted Bellamy of assault for spraying a woman and a 7-month-old baby in the face with bleach. He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 9. He faces as much as 20 years in prison for the two counts of second-degree assault.
In the murder case, witnesses testified that Bellamy and three other men walked away from the apartment complex on Quince Orchard Boulevard in the company of Carter. They then heard two loud pops, according to testimony, and saw the three men return without Carter.
A man walking his dog about seven hours later saw Carter's body near the elementary school -- a short distance from the apartments where Bellamy and Carter lived -- and called police.