‘I Have Absolutely No Sympathy for You,’ Says Stepmother to 17-Year-Old Convicted of Stepson’s Murder

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On Aug. 17, family and friends of deceased 33-year-old Bernard Nathaniel Tillman filled Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge John A. Howard’s courtroom to give victim impact statements during defendant Shamar Carter’s sentencing.

Tillman’s stepmother became emotional during her address to the court after describing her stepson as “a hard worker who loved his family.” 

She told Carter, “I have absolutely no sympathy for you,” and that she would appear at his future parole hearings to “make sure justice is served.”

“My memories – I have those. But I’ll never be able to make any more,” said Tillman’s father as his voice broke. Tillman and his father were close, working side by side every day in the family’s plumbing business. 

“You stole him from our family,” said Tillman’s fiancee, who now cares for their two-year-old daughter and Tillman’s autistic teenage son alone.

Robert Linthicum, Carter’s attorney, told the family that his client was “very sorry” about what happened. 

Turning his attention to Judge Howard, Linthicum explained that Carter was a “model detainee” despite trauma and medical issues earlier in his life. After considering Carter’s record, Judge Howard said he would recommend Carter to the Patuxent Youthful Offender Program, a therapy-based rehabilitation program.

Carter pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and firearm use in a felony violent crime on May 17. Judge Howard sentenced him to life, suspending all but 40 years, for first-degree murder and a concurrent 15 years for firearm use in a felony violent crime, the first five of which will be without the possibility of parole. Carter will serve five years of supervised probation and register as a gun offender upon release.

Charging documents state that on June 1, 2022, officers responded to the 2800 block of Edmondson Avenue when they heard gunshots on patrol. There, they chased and apprehended Carter and recovered a 9mm gun with an extended magazine from his waistline.

Surveillance footage showed Tillman walking away from Carter as Carter approached him from across the BP gas station parking lot. Carter began shooting at Tillman, who pulled a handgun out but did not fire. Tillman fell to the ground, and Carter continued to shoot. Tillman was pronounced dead on the scene.

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