Friday, September 21, 2007

Charges Dropped Against Chaz Ricks, Zukael T. Stephens

DNA testing has excluded the once-alleged Roland Park rapist.

Zukael T. Stephens, charged with beating transgender activist Marcus Rogers to death and then setting his Mid-Town Belvedere apartment on fire, was acquitted yesterday by a jury of all charges. Stephens had previously been released when a prosecutor mistakenly dropped all charges.*

14 comments:

John Galt said...

More than enough reason to worry in places like Belair Edison, Waverly, and Monument Street.

Almond Smash said...

Its a shame to see some of the better areas starting to take a dive in the City.

Calionni said...

This is pathetic. Its obvious that Zukael thought he was going up to Marcus's house to "get some". He descovered Marcus's gender became inraged and beat him to death. The law is still afraid to deal with sexuality issues.This was a hate crime...plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

The story of Marcus Rogers is featured on Investigate Discovery's "Forensics: You Decide", episode "Caught on Tape" (viewable on Netflix). I must say, as the show presents it, this stands as one of the most egregious miscarriages of justice I've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

Just watched this caught on tape. Man the poliice screwed up bad. But still marcus togers murderer got off. WHY WHY WHY? That man would have been in prison if it were up to me. Why? Because he did it.

Noura Eleid said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I just watched this case discussed in an episode of "Forensics, You Decide" and I have to say that I am appalled at the outcome. Of the five episodes dealing with different cases this was one of two that I thought was open and shut - that the defendant was guilty as sin. And yet, for reasons that are beyond me, he was acquitted? I am deeply disturbed by this - so much so that I want to write to the Baltimore PD.
I do not think this was a hate crime, however - I agree with the police detective's theory that the primary intent was robbery. Stephens already had a record - robbery was his specialty. I mean, why steal the car? And how long would it have taken the suspect to figure out that Marcus was a man - not long, I should think. Stephens was in the apartment for several hours, most likely casing the place. Marcus, being "bubbly" most likely shared his hopes of opening a wig shop.
The defense team's yarn about the steal pipe being a possible murder weapon is also ludicrous. Since when is a murder weapon left in plain sight at the scene? Not to mention the fact that the trophy was never found - why is that just suddenly missing? And the black mercedes? I would also like to know if anyone bothered to check on Stephens' story of his bus-rides home. Buses are equipped with surveillance cameras - if he did board a bus before the murder occurred it would be relatively easy to prove.
But, beyond that, there is the obvious question of how this "other man with a shadow-beard" that the defensive team came up with just happened to be wearing the same jacket, T-shirt and jeans as Stephens. What I also found laughable from watching the trial video footage was how perfectly Stephens' hairline matches that of the "shadow-bearer" man.
I cannot get over the idiocy of acquitting Stephens. There is no shadow of a doubt to any sane person.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree.

Don't forget about the defense team's idiotic "there should have been more blood splashed on Zukael's jacket" theory.

Why would he be wearing a jacket few hours after entering victim's room? Didn't it occur to defense team & jurors that he may have had the jacket laying or hanging somewhere in the room when he attacked the victim, hense only few spills of blood landed on the jacket?

From hereon is just a theory, but that explains why the police found only the jacket in Zukael's home, but not the shirt, jeans, and the shoes.

Because he got rid of clothes obviously had some or lot of visible trace of blood on them. He may very well have been partially or all naked when he found out that the victim was a man and attacked him. Which explains why there was no trace of blood in inner side of the jacket.
What would he have done after he was covered in blood?
He would have washed or wiped the blood off(most likely wiped & put the material he wiped his body with, along with the murder weapon, inside the bag seen on surveillance video), got his clothes on, which may have had some trace of blood in the inner side thus he got rid of later, and woar the jacket on top, which the jacket's inner side only touches the outer side of the clothe, and cleaned body. There were no visible blood on the jacket so he kept the jacket.

Oh, and they never showed the surveillance footage of Zukael, in his claim supposedly got on the elevator and left the building at earlier time, or the alleged "shadow-bearer" man entering the building.

**disclaimer** English is my second language. Please excuse me if my grammer or spelling is incorrect.

Anonymous said...

Previous comment stating English is his second language & to excuse if grammer or spelling is incorrect....I think your article was excellent & couldn't see anything that was incorrect, very well written !!
I just want to say that I totally agree with your views & that it's very likely Zukael removed his jacket & as you say he was probably in the state of un-dress if he thought he'd pulled a woman, why didn't they find his clothes he was wearing under the jacket & his shoes ? Because he'd got rid of them of course, this is a murder that should be investigated again and all those points people have mentioned on here to be asked again, over & over until they find this monster guilty. The evidence is overwhelming and with all the advances in forensic & no doubt new ways not known then, could help solve a horrific crime. My thoughts are with the victim's family, they need closure.

Sloh186 said...

I just saw "Forensics: you decide", and have to say this guy getting acquitted was ludicrous!! The defense team stated that it was another guy that was wearing Zukeal's clothes in the second video of the "bearded man", ok they did their job in creating reasonable doubt, good deal. But what the jury should have asked and the prosecution should've highlighted was the very important question of how did that same jacket end up in Zukeal's house with splatters of Marcus' blood on it. The trace amount doesn't matter because that's beside the point. Those splatters place Zukeal at Marcus' house during the time of the murder, because what other reason would explain how this came to be! The blood splatter analysis was a moot point because we don't the other articles of clothing that this murderer wore that night to confirm that piece of evidence. Why? I don't know! The defense team did an awesome job, for this murderer! And the prosecution team was so confident in their evidence that it caused them to count their chickens before they hatched. And now we have a murderer on the lose!

RECESSION NETWORKING said...

I saw this case on one of those documentary crime shows. I watch these shows a lot. This guy got away with murder.

Anonymous said...

Zukael is innocent. It was obviously a suicide.

Anonymous said...

bet he was laughing on the inside when he got aquited...true, where is the footage of him leaving the building/he is guilty

Anonymous said...

He again became a suspect of his wife s death..he was charged last week for murder..