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Man Sentenced to Life for Killing

May 1, 2002

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FREDERICK, Md. (AP) _ A mentally retarded ex-convict was sentenced Tuesday to two consecutive life sentences plus 20 years in prison for sexually assaulting and murdering a 9-year-old boy.

The sentence, with no possibility of parole, was aimed at ensuring that Elmer Spencer Jr. never walks free again, said Judge G. Edward Dwyer.

Spencer, 46, was convicted Feb. 20 of first-degree murder, first-degree sexual offense and child abduction for the beating and strangling Christopher Ausherman Jr.

Spencer was ineligible for the death penalty because his IQ has consistently been tested below 70, the limit under a Maryland law that prohibits executing the retarded.

Spencer, who has a long history of violent and sexual offenses, was freed from prison under mandatory early release rules five days before the boy was killed Nov. 19, 2000.

The case prompted two bills that Gov. Parris Glendening signed into law last week, toughening the potential sentences for certain repeat sex offenders.

At his trial, prosecutors portrayed Spencer as a predator who lurked for several days around Christopher’s public housing complex before luring the boy away with Pokemon cards and killing him in the dugout of a nearby baseball field.

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