Thursday, November 20, 2008

Armed robbery conviction

A Baltimore City jury convicted Jermaine Southern AKA Swilling, 35, of the 400 block of E. Eager St. of two counts of armed robbery and two counts of use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence today following a two day trial.

Armed robbery carries a maximum prison term of 20 years. Use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence carries a maximum of 20 years. Judge Timothy J. Doory scheduled sentencing for January 15, 2009.

On March 20, 2007 at approximately 9:50PM in the 500 block of Centre St. both victims were walking home from a play at the Baltimore School for the Arts when Southern approached and pointed black revolver at both, ordering them to “give me your bags.” The first victim handed over her bag, which contained her wallet, credit cards, US currency, paperwork, and keys. The second victim threw her bag, which contained her wallet, credit cards, $30-$40 US currency, paycheck, cell phone and keys to the ground and Southern grabbed it. On April 30, 2007, both victims positively identified Jermaine Southern in photo arrays. Further investigation revealed that Southern used the phone within an hour of the robbery to call his sister. No gun was recovered. None of the victims’ effects were ever recovered.

Assistant State’s Attorney Michael Leedy of the General Trial Division prosecuted this case.
.. how much time will he get?

Speaking of School for the Arts, 1986 video of Jada Pinkett and 15-year-old future murder victim Tupac, lip-synching to Will Smith in the school's hallowed halls!

17 comments:

ppatin said...

So I officially became a crime victim yesterday. Some hoodlums burglarized my house while I was at work. I am pissed beyond belief.

Anonymous said...

It was probably some kids that made a few "bad choices".

ppatin said...

This has finally convinced me to buy a gun so that I can defend myself when I'm at home. If some motherfucker makes a "bad choice" while I'm there that'll be the last bad choice he ever makes.

ppatin said...

"A Baltimore City jury convicted Jermaine Southern AKA Swilling, 35, of the 400 block of E. Eager St."

Uh, 401 E. Eager St. is the address of the city jail.

shayne said...

ppatin, would it be possible that your burglars would have simply stolen your gun, assuming you had one, since you weren't home to use it?

Would a contract with an alarm company and a baseball bat be a better idea? Or are you going to drop several hundred on a gun safe, too?

ppatin said...

"ppatin, would it be possible that your burglars would have simply stolen your gun, assuming you had one, since you weren't home to use it?"

Yes, that's certainly a possibility. On the other hand it could save my life if I was home when the hoodlums broke in.

buzoncrime said...

pp--Sorry to hear about your burglary.
However, Shayne points out the conundrum that is faced by many folks who buy guns for protection in their homes. On one hand, it is great knowing it is their as your ultimate defense against an intruder. On the other hand, there is the dilemma of what to do with it when you leave home. As Sebastian and others have pointed out, you'll need a Maryland Handgun Permit to carry it to work with you, and they are fairly hard to get. (Of course, I guess you could put it into your laptop bag and lock it in your trunk on the way to work, and no one would know--technically illegal, though.)

But if you leave the gun in your home, it is one of the first things a burglar will take if seen (next to that laptop, of course.) A large percentage of guns on the street are stolen from people's homes. I guess you could hide your gun in a really good place, but then you would have to remember to find out and set it where it can be used in the aforementioned home defense mode.

Unless you feel particularly threatened in some way, or are "in the game", chances are burglars will not break in while you are home [women living alone in student apartment areas with fire escapes excepted]. And they usually do not want to see you--or especially be seen by you. Burglars are mostly thieves; robbers are into the violence/threatening people thing.

Good areas, good locks, and good neighbors are the keys if you don't want to get an alarm.

By the way, if you could, what was their point of entry into your place? What was their method of entry? Professional interest, of course.

ppatin said...

"By the way, if you could, what was their point of entry into your place? What was their method of entry? Professional interest, of course."

They came in through the front window. As far as I can tell they removed the plants that were on the windowsill, lifted up the screen, and then busted the little lock/tab things that keep the window locked shut.

My guess (and this is pure armchair detective here) is that they were a relatively "professional" bunch. The house wasn't trashed, and everything they snatched was small & easy to carry, and should be resellable without too much trouble. What really surprised me is that they didn't steal my computer or computer monitor.

Sean said...

Oooh, watch out, Buz is totally casing your joint, yo! He wants that laptop...

Yeah, I've debated the gun thing for a while now. I think for the time being, two dogs, an alarm, keyed locks at both doors, and knowing my neighbors pretty well makes me feel a bit better. It's true that a gun would come in handy in the incredibly unlikely event of a home invasion, but it's not really a crime deterrent. And shooting an unarmed burglar is a shaky proposition at best.

MJB said...

So Buz, given the housing stock around here, where would it be (more) safe for a single female 20-something student to live?

I am so wise said...

"Where would it be (more) safe for a single female 20-something student to live?"

Baltimore County. I routinely forget to close the doors to, much less lock them on my house and car and I've never had a problem.

The high quality, high education levels of the area's residents also means good conversation, having people watch your back and house when you are not home, and the police actually take you seriously when you complain about hooker activity.

ppatin said...

"So Buz, given the housing stock around here, where would it be (more) safe for a single female 20-something student to live?"

I'm no Buz, but a lot of the apartment buildings around JHU are quite safe. The best place to rent is (or at least used to be) University One. The front desk security there was kind of fascist.

buzoncrime said...

mjb---It's not an easy question to answer because, if ya wanna have total safety you live in a locked high-rise with a doorman in a gated community--but there is no such thing as total safety. It becomes complicated because most 20-something student females don't want to live in Fort Knox and couldn't afford to, may not have a car, and want to be close to school. So, there are a bunch of factors to consider.

As a security consultant, I look for security as the main consideration if looking at a place. As a relocation consultant, one has to consider a host of other factors besides safety, such as those mentioned above.
If you're talking rape avoidance, it's always best to live around with other prople--but not what I call student enclaves adjacent to high crime areas. Areas around colleges attract a lot of students, and cheap, relatively, rental housing--often poorly maintained and modestly secure--if at all. Because the kids are careless about security and their valuables, these areas become happy hunting grounds for crimnals.
I recommend that women try to live with roommates, if possible, in nicer areas not close to the "action" of the college scene or even too close to the school, unless you're on campus. You get the idea.

The Wise One is generally right about Baltimore County, but that is a general broad brush, too. I wouldn't recommend living in those apartments along Kenilworth or around York Road. And there are plenty of rough areas in the county.

The best areas for grad students are: like PP said, the apartments on the North side of JHU are good, especially if they have fascist front-desk staff. If you don't want to live in a high rise, most of the smart kids live in Hampden or Wyman Park: close to campus, but low street crime.

Roland Park, Tuxedo Park, and Evergreen are all good choices in the city with relatively low street crime and centrally located (sorry, Wise One, I'm a city fan.) For the suburban fan, Columbia apartments are good, though there is a mind-numbing sameness.

But having said all that, it is important for gals to look at the building's security as well as the locks to the apartment. Fire escapes raise the risks as well as sliding patio doors. How hard is it to get into the building, how secure is the apartment?

Whew, nuff said! But I hope it answers your question, MJB. [By the way, they're gonna tear down the b-ball court on Elm, and just make a little grassy park.]

MJB said...

anyone notice something unusual about the perp's address in this press release?

MJB said...

Hey buz, question for you... how do you suggest women deal with stalker-type situations? Obviously restraining orders are worse than useless...

ppatin said...

"anyone notice something unusual about the perp's address in this press release?"

Heh, see my 9:12 AM post. The guy's address is the Baltimore City Detention Center.

buzoncrime said...

mjb---I would not want to comment on your question on stalkers in a public forum. There are weirdos out there who read crime blogs (wouldja believe it?!). And these situations can be very complicated and sensitive and situational. I will send you a direct email with some general ideas.