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February 9, 2011

Last of three defendants in racial attack sentenced

The Sun's Nick Madigan is reporting that the last of three defendants convicted in a racial attack on a fisherman in a South Baltimore park has been sentenced to 85 years in prison. But the judge suspended all but 10 years of the time.

Zachary D. Watson, 19, pleaded guilty armed carjacking, robbery with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit assault and committing a hate crime to avoid a trial. Madigan wrote:

Baltimore Circuit Judge Lynn K. Stewart sternly warned Watson that she will make sure he serves all 75 years of the sentence if he commits any offenses during a five-year probationary period after his release. "I'll be around a long time," the judge said, "so when he finishes I'll be right here."

The attack on James Privott, who was 76 at the time, in Fort Armistead Park drew national attention when it became clear from police reports that his assailants had used racial invective during the incident. Privott, who was beaten with a hammer, punched and kicked in the assault on Aug. 18, 2009, told detectives later that, as far as he could tell, the attack was perpetrated by three men, later identified by police as Watson and his friends Calvin E. Lockner, 29, and Emmanuel Miller, 17.
In Watson's account to police after his arrest, he said that he and Miller had been standing some 20 feet away while Lockner, alone, pummeled the fisherman. Lockner, a self-professed white supremacist with an avowed admiration for Nazis and Adolf Hitler, was sentenced in September to 31 years in prison for his role in the attack.


If it was Black on white, they would have walked. Blacks can not be racist

It's hard to argue that it's only one way and unfair stuff when the guy is a self-processed white supremacist...

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About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.

Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.

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