A former security guard was sentenced on Thursday to serve 60 years in prison for killing a man during an argument at a Royal Farms in Southwest Baltimore, one of a series of high-profile shootings in 2022.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Kendra Y. Ausby handed down the maximum sentence against Kanisha Spence, 45, of Poppleton, on charges of second-degree murder and use of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence.

Spence received 40 years in prison for second-degree murder and 20 years for the other charge with the time to be served consecutively. Spence will not be eligible for parole for five years.

Assistant State’s Attorney Matthew Galey said there was “no justification” for how Spence acted during the incident in 2022. He said Spence showed a “clear disregard for the order of law and society.” Galey and co-counsel Assistant State’s Attorney Jennifer Brady asked for the maximum sentence.

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During the hearing, Ausby repeatedly called Spence “callous” and then said it was “probably not a strong enough word” for how Spence behaved before, during and after the shooting.

“She [Spence] was at work. She’s not allowed to get out of control,” Ausby said before the sentencing.

Spence’s attorney, Roya Hanna, said they would appeal the decision. During the sentencing, Hanna said Spence would “take it back” if she could, and that Spence did not start work that day intending to harm anyone.

Reached after the hearing, Hanna declined to comment further.

Spence, who testified during the trial, spoke only briefly during her sentencing.

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“I just apologize,” she said.

Spence had been working as a security guard for Maximum Protective Services when she fatally shot Marquise Powell at the Royal Farms on Washington Boulevard near Carroll Park on Oct. 30, 2022. She was found guilty of second-degree murder and use of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence at the end of August.

Powell was taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center and died several days after the shooting. He was 26.

Corey Hill, Powell’s uncle, said Powell always wanted to help other people in his family, and that he was someone people “could always go to.”

“He reached everybody with his heart,” Corey Hill said.

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Powell’s mother, Towander Hill, spoke through tears and told the court she could not forgive Spence at the time of sentencing, and that she had prayed about it daily. She lamented that she would never hear her son’s voice again, and that she could only look at photos of him.

“I can’t do it right now,” she said. “I can’t. My son was executed. He was taken from me.”

Surveillance cameras captured the deadly shooting. At the time, Powell’s sister, Tonuela Hill, was holding him back in a space just outside the front door of the convenience store.

Spence testified that Powell started “fussing and cussing” after she told him that the bathroom locked at 10 p.m., per store policy, and later threatened to kill her. She said she was scared for her life, adding that “it all happened so fast that day.”

Powell’s loved ones have filed a wrongful death and survival action lawsuit against Spence, Royal Farms and Maximum Protective Services. It remains pending in Baltimore Circuit Court.

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After Spence was led out of the courtroom and Powell’s family was leaving, Brady stopped to hug Towander Hill.

“I have a baby boy too,” Brady said. “I’m so sorry.”

Cody Boteler a reporter on The Banner’s Express Desk, reporting on breaking news, trending stories and interesting things in and around Baltimore. His work has appeared in The Baltimore Sun, USA TODAY, Baltimore magazine and others. 

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