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.