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Thursday, 23 April 2009

Jury will decide whether to sentence Patrick Albert Byers Jr., who ordered the hit while incarcerated on murder charges, to death.

13:29 | ,

Jury will decide whether to sentence Patrick Albert Byers Jr., who ordered the hit while incarcerated on murder charges, to death. His co-defendant, Frank Keith Goodman, acted as Byers' agent on the outside and faces life in prison; he will be sentenced July 17. Both men are 23. Lackl's mother and his longtime girlfriend sobbed as the guilty verdict was read. "Carl wins, God bless America," his stepfather said on the way out of the courtroom. The late afternoon verdict came as surprise at the end of the day and was read before supporters of Byers and Goodman had a chance to reach the U.S. District Court House.
Byers' face remained unchanged as the foreman repeated the word "guilty" again and again, with few of the jury members looking his way. He was found guilty on all counts having to do with Lackl's murder as well as on a count of being a felon in possession of a handgun. The jury found him not guilty on a ninth count of using a gun in an unrelated drug trafficking crime. Goodman was found guilty of seven counts, involving Lackl's death. He rubbed a hand across his face as the decision was announced, and shook his head, muttering to himself. Later, he rested his face in his hands. "I'm disappointed," Goodman's attorney, Christopher Davis said. "There are no winners, everyone's hurt in this case. It's sad." A spokeswoman for the Maryland U.S. Attorney's office declined to comment. On March 4, 2006, Lackl picked Byers out of a police photo array as the man he saw running earlier that day, gun in hand, from an East Baltimore murder scene. Larry Haynes, who was suspected of killing Byers' cousins, had been shot eight times. Byers was arrested later that month, and Lackl was scheduled to testify against him in Baltimore City Circuit Court. But eight days before that trial was set to begin on July 10, 2007, the 38-year-old father was executed in front of his Baltimore County home. He'd been lured out of the house by the killers, who told him they were interested in buying a car he was selling, then shot him three times at close range. Investigators linked eight people to the murder, with Byers at the helm. After he mistakenly received a court document containing Lackl's address, Byers offered $2,500 for the man's death. He used Goodman, with whom he had served prison time, as his go-between.

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