Saturday, December 31, 2011

Justice Delayed

It has been more than five years after the murder of CO David McGuinn at the Maryland House of Correction. Jury selection in the trial of the first of his two alleged killers begins Tuesday* in Anne Arundel County.

Friday, December 30, 2011

'I don’t think there’s anything about which
I will ever be more grateful'

Have you seen these two, wanted for attempted armed robbery on the Light Rail? (Left, via WBAL)

Robberies galore in the southeast and coats for the homeless stolen in the southern, reports the Baltimore Guide

Last week's four murders recapped in the Ink. Says O'Malley of the drop in the murder toll this year, "I don’t think there’s anything about which I will ever be more grateful in public service."

The WaPo follows up on the case following the killing of U of MD student Justin DeSha-Overcash

Police backtrack on the whole "prosecutors are stalling and hindering our cases" thing

Two "doctors" (can you call them doctors if they lost their licenses to practice?) are facing murder charges under Maryland's "viable fetus" law after two botched abortions. The women lived.

Nathan A. Chapman Jr., once a prominent man about town, is now a man about a halfway house*

Hellz yes, tax giveaways need more scrutiny

The FBI says gun sales are up

The Tribune Co. bankruptcy case will lurch on until at least this summer with hearings not starting until May. In better news, the judge has reversed himself, deciding that Zell won't be in line for a bankruptcy payout after all.

Drugs are bad for you

Three suspected heroin overdose deaths in two days in Harford County.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Tweets Fenton, "Shooting at 2800 W Garrison is a homicide."

UPDATE: Fenton says the 31-year-old victim was killed when he fought back during the course of a home-invasion robbery*.

a friend of mine was also burgled yesterday in Endor Gadrens-- had her door kicked in in the middle of the day; thieves took her kids' Christmas presents. Sigh.

Have you seen...

this guy? He's wanted for questioning in reference to the December 9th triple-shooting near Club Envy in the 1800 block of Maryland Ave.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The year in crime, torts and general bad behavior

It's the end of the year, which means it's a fine time to recap some of the most notable civil- and criminal-law stories of the past 12 months:

10. Conaways in the crossfire: Frank Conaway Senior kept his position as clerk of the court again, but there was still bad news aplenty for the family: Belinda lost her city council seat to Nick Mosby after Adam Meister revealed she was claiming a tax credit illegally, TDR revealed a laundry list of problems at the Clerk's office, and Frank Senior got in hot water for brandishing a firearm with an expired permit in front of his house. And Frank Conaway Jr.'s book's sales rank slipped to #4,104,807th on Amazon.

9. Tow-mageddon: 17 officers charged with extortion in a dirty towing scheme. As Jayne Miller's source said, "it's not the crime of the century, but it's not pretty."

8. It got a little harder to rape somebody. The Sun's Justin Fenton uncovered the unsavory fact that the city has the nation's highest level of rape cases deemed "unfounded"*. And, finally, the FBI changed the definition of "rape" to include male victims, penetrations sans penis and non-forcible rapes.

7. For whatever reason, this was the year an exceptionlly high number of dirty political chickens came home to roost in MD: Paul Shurick, Jack Johnson, Tiffany Alston, Richard Stewart of the redistricting committee and Belinda C. all felt karma's bitter sting.

6. The Brew attacks! Rapacious newsroom cuts by the Sun's evil gnomish overlord left the local paper of record with scant resources to do the time-consuming, ass-pain investigative pieces necessary to uncover pork, malfeasance and sketchy government dealings. Stephen Janis' defection from Investigate Voice to join the Fox news team left another news hole. But fortunately for us all, the Baltimore Brew stepped into the breach, uncovering the mayor's plan to stealthily privatize rec centers, explaining the little acronyms like TIF and PILOT that let city officials grant breaks to their developer pals, and the high price of settling police misconduct lawsuits. What they cover is just a fraction of what could use delving into, but hey, it's something.

5. It gets better-ish. The arc of the moral universe is long and full of dings, dents, and crack-crazed seagulls, but it eventually, slowly bends towards not sucking as much. So it went this year for the state's gay and transgender citizens. In spite of the Senate passing the gay marriage bill, it died in the House. In March, Tyra Trent was murdered, and in April, Chrissy Polis had the tar beaten out of her at McDonald's. But it is now possible for a baby to have two mommies on a birth certificate (if said mommies married elsewhere), and starting next month, Baltimore county employees who were married in other states can receive same-sex benefits.

4. Phylicia Barnes, a 16-year-old honor student, went missing December 28 of 2010, and a long, pitiful search by police and family ensued-- one so desperate, police were taking tips from Cham. Barnes' beauty, youth, apparent innocence and mysterious disappearance seemed a perfect fit for Natalie-Holloway-level national hysteria and hand-wringing, but Barnes was apparently not blonde enough* for the national media, which ignored her case until Anthony Guglieimi shamed producers into briefly spotlighting her disappearance. Barnes' body was found in April in the Susquehanna, the medical examiner ruled her death a homicide, but still, no one's been arrested yet.

3. Mayhem at the Select Lounge. Chaos reigned at West Franklin and N. Paca on January 9: 42 shots fired, Officer William Torbit Jr. and reveler Sean Gamble killed, four citizens hit with bullets. But after an eight-month independent investigation, no charges were filed, no changes were made to BPD procedures, and FHB III concluded that officers "acted reasonably."*

2. Baltimore swore in a new prosecutor, Gregg Bernstein, who was promptly never heard from again. To be fair, press releases have finally started trickling out in the past few months, and as promised, office staffers did get their BlackBerries and the do-not-call list was abolished*. But it's uncertain if the office is actually more functional than Jessamy's was: in August police complained about prosecutors stalling and "hindering"* cases.

1. Murders, shootings and unclassified deaths are down-- way, way down. From 335 murders in 1993, to 223 last year, to possibly under 200 in 2011, which will make the murder rate lower than it's been since the 1960s. The drop in violent crime is not just a local trend, but a nationwide thing (hellz, crime is even down in Detroit!), and theories abound as to why. Cops having better technology? The right people finally going to jail? Have we "bupe" to thank? We may never know for sure, what whatever it is, we'll take it.

... so what did I miss? ... Fenton posted his top 10 in crime* a little while after I posted this one.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Suspicious Food Containers, Merry Merry Shootings

City Hall was shut down for a little while this morning due to a bomb scare. Turned out it was just a food container and a t-shirt, though the BCPD intelligence section is taking over the investigation now.

A 30-year-old man was shot in the face in the 100 block of South Monroe St. on the 23rd.

Another December 23 shooting, this time in the 400 block of North Rose St. Two people, a man and a woman, were non-fatally shot at around 7:30 pm.

Two people, a 20-year-old and a 26-year-old were shot in the leg on the 24th in Poppleton, specifically the 100 block of North Freemont Ave.

If there weren't a lot of Christmastime homicides this year, it wasn't for a lack of effort. Two more people still were shot in West Baltimore, inthe 700 block of West Lexington St.

Finally, an arrest has been made in the Woodlawn stabbing death of Kevin Regusters. Registered sex offender George Robert Evans Jr , 35, was charged with first degree murder on Dec. 22 for his role in the stabbing death.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Aw geeze

A murder Christmas Eve brings the toll to 195. A moment of thanks and appreciation to the dedicated and selfless officers, EMTS, firefighters and medical examiners who work on Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Legend of Stanley

Violence in SW Baltimore is related to the shooting of a "legend," says FHB III-- a legend named Stanley, who is apparently as slippery as a greased pig on a Teflon pan*: "Armed robbery and handgun charges were dropped by prosecutors in 2008, and he was found not guilty of attempted murder in 2004. In 2007 he was convicted of drug possession with intent to distribute and sentenced to eight years in prison, but seven years and four months of the sentnece (sic) were suspended."

Towson Town Center shooting victim, Rodney Vest Pridget, was not picked at random and not robbed*, county police say. He was also once convicted of roughing up a guy and stealing an Xbox.

How far we've come: Fenton posted a year-in-crime story from 1993, when by Dec. 14, 335 people had been murdered in the city*.

O'Malley fills the CSA seat left vacant by Judge Joseph F. Murphy Jr. with "Bob"

Beatings, Shootings, and Life plus 40

A Baltimore grandmother who was beaten with a hammer by her own 14-year-old grandson in March has died. 67-year-old Shirley Garrett died in the hospital after receiving the fatal injuries from her grandson Hassanhii Garrett, 14. Hassanhii was charged as an adult with attempted murder before his case was juvenile court. This murder replaces the murder of Cristopher Gilliam on the homicide list, after his killing was deemed justified.*

The jury has deliberated in the school bullying case, and returned a verdict in favor of the school.

A 40-year-old man was shot to death on West Pratt Street last night.

A man is dead from apparent stab wounds after a fight in Woodlawn got out of control yesterday night. Kevin Eric Regusters, 23, was killed on Purnell Drive in Woodlawn.

Life plus 40 for the home invasion murder of Shelton Elliott back in 2009. Abron Scott, 44, was given the life term after being convicted on all counts in October.

Another County homicide. The death of a Pikesville woman has been ruled a homicide. Herbert Wesley Johnson Jr. is being held without bail for beating Gwendolyn Jackson to death.

Just another day in Baltimore. An elderly woman was robbed not once but twice over a span of a few minutes.

Finally, a large scale brawl erupted at a basketball game between Lemmel Middle School and a DC school.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Suspects suspected

Phylicia Barnes' father says he's anticipating an arrest in the case, BoCo Popo say that's not so, though note the investigation is still active and progress has been made. Hmm.

Police Tweet "SHOOTING: 700 Belnord (Eastern District, Madison-Eastend Community) 11:58pm, adult female shot. Detectives investigating."

The judge threw out 9/13 counts* in the city bullying lawsuit, the case is to the jury now

Rod Rosenstein: politicians who shove cash in their "under ware" are stupid, greedy dummkopfs (to paraphrase a little)

Blood on Blood Action

Dajuan Marshall , 29, The leader of the Bounty Hunter Bloods has been sentenced to life plus 20 for kidnapping and fatally shooting Kenneth Jones the leader of the Pasadena Denver Lane Bloods.

The Sun has released their top 10 local news stories of 2011. Crime stories making the list were the Select Lounge shooting, the McDonald's assault of a transgendered woman, and the Wire's Felicia "Snoop" Pearson being arrested and later convicted for her role in a drug ring.

Police have released surveillance photos of the two men who shot the owner of Upclose Barbershop during an attempted robbery. The owner is still in critical condition.

Grand Prix officials have until Dec. 31 to pay back the more than 1 million dollars in taxes they owe to the state.

County police are trying their hardest to emphasize that the fatal shooting of Rodney Pridget (Pictured Right) was "absolutely not a random act." Which is good, in the sense that regular citizens aren't being robbed and murdered, but it's still pretty cruddy no matter what.

Finally, a one-alarm fire in Hampden left a man dead.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


Two men were shot last night, leaving one dead. 29-year-old Donte Lamonte Collins was shot and killed at the 1500 block of North Rosedale St. Yet again, there is a bit of confusion with how his name is spelled, with District Court records calling him Donte, while Circuit Court records spell it Dante. Unless someone says otherwise, he will be listed as Donte in the homicide tally.

County Police have id'd the man shot to death at Towson Town Center. Rodney Vest Pridget, 19, was shot in what police are calling a "targeted shooting" although they have not given any reason as to how they have come to this conclusion.

An arrest has been made in the shooting of a city cab driver. Maurice Alvin Turner Jr. has been charged with first degree murder after being identified as one of the two men who robbed the cabbie. The other man has not been identified. According to court records, this is Turner's third arrest for attempted murder after being charged in May of 2007* and June of 2008* respectively. Turner was given a 30 year sentence with all but 5 years suspended for the second attempted murder charge.

Life plus 20 for Kelly Shird, age 28, for murdering Craig Bouie in 2010 during a break-in gone bad.

The man shot by county police during a home invasion in Dundalk has been id'd as Christopher Kane Bernert, 27. Bernert is now facing a bevy of serious charges, including attempted murder and armed robbery.

A 20-year-old man was shot early this morning in the 1300 block of Glyndon Ave.

Police are asking John Q. Public for help finding family members 54-year-old Joseph Allan McCoy who was killed in a motorcycle accident last month.

Finally, Maryland lawmakers are at it again, trying to repeal the death penalty. The last execution in Maryland took place in 2005, when Wesley Baker was put to death.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Man killed at Towson Town Center

A man was shot to death outside of Towson Town Center, Justin Fenton retweeted this photo (cropped by me). Wjz says it was inside the parking garage, the Sun says it was on the road on the East side of the Nordstrom's, Fenton says there are preliminary reports of a suspect being taken in for questioning.

191, 192

32-year-old Jeffrey Smith was shot and killed on Belair Rd. No suspects or motive at the moment.

Dayon Barnes, 27, was shot and killed while sitting in a car in the 200 block of N. Smallwood St. Barnes made local headlines last year after being part of a money counterfeiting group with Erik Desmond Stokes and Darryl Bacon. Stokes was shot and killed by County police during apprehension. Barnes and Bacon were arrested without incident. Both men had their cases Nolle Prosequi earlier this year. With Barnes dead Darryl Bacon is the only member of this ring left, although he is currently wanted out of Annapolis for parole violations.

The Sun has id'd the guy shot on Elsinore Ave. as 23-year-old Lawrence Edwards. While every District court charge he has calls him by Lawrence Edwards, all his circuit court charges spell his name Lawrence Edwardes. I'll stick with Edwardes for the moment until I hear otherwise.*

A Baltimore cabby was robbed and shot at the 2700 block of Sisson St.

The shootings keep piling up in the City, with a man in serious condition after being shot earlier today, while two men were shot in the 3000 block of Belmont Ave. Thursday evening.

Lavelva Merritt, the co-conspirator in the Stephen Pitcairn murder was given another 5 years to her sentence.

A home invader in Dundalk was shot by County police after a woman reported a man with a ski mask standing over her as she slept.

21-year-old tattoo fanatic Dalonte S. Dunston was the 5th and final person charged with a robbery murder in little Taneytown, MD.

Finally, proving that your never too young to be mind-bendingly creepy, 21-year-old Scott Seidel was given a two year sentence for impersonating an FBI officer on teen chat-rooms while simultaneously pretending to be a hacker, all in order to convince girls to strip on webcams. Creepier yet, as recently as last year Seidel lived in the Donnybrook Lane apartments, located a few hundred feet from Towson High School, which is full of young women the same age as the girls he targeted online. So to sum it up, what a scuzzbag.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


A man was shot to death at around 9:10 p.m. Friday in the 2200 block of Elsinore Avenue

Media blabber:
Why is this guy waving a sign about bedbugs in front of @Adam Meister's house? (while Meister and Toilet Artist Duane G. Davis -- in an "ass family" shirt-- take pictures?)

In spite of paying its reporters in gum, is reportedly losing $100 million a year

Friday, December 16, 2011

Judge to state: shove your SLAPP suit

Judge Althea Handy dismissed the state's $100 million counterclaim against State Center's opponents. Reasoned the Judge, "the Noerr-Pennington doctrine applies and the “sham” exception as defined in Prof’l Real Estate Investors, Inc., et al. v. Columbia Pictures Indus., Inc., et al., 508 U.S. 49 (1993) does not; and it is further ORDERED that because the Noerr-Pennington doctrine is dispositive of the motion in this matter, a decision on the other arguments raised by the parties need not be reached." BLAM! BooYA!

UPDATE: more from TDR

Violators and the violated

Extra time for John Wagner, convicted killer of Stephen Pitcairn, the murderous crackhead will now serve "life" plus seven years, eight months, and six days.

Police are ISO a female serial bank robber who wears leggings and Uggs.

The FBI has (finally!) changed the definition of rape to remove the requirement that the victim is a woman, the weapon is a penis and the "forcible" part. (So what did they call "the Sandusky" before? Plain old sexual assault, I guess?)

Down at Ft Meade, Bradley Manning's trial is underway. Wikileaks' most recent leak: documents from the "mass surveillance industry"

And how about that NDAA? So long habeus corpus, bye bye Bill of Rights. We've arrived at a point where unaccountable persons in the government (or serving corporations that subcontract for the government) can read your email, decide they don't like it, and stuff you into a van, never to be heard from again. Obama is expected to sign NDAA today-- if so it'll be exactly 220 years and a day after the Bill of Rights was ratified. There's a lot out there written about it (too little, too late), the IB Times has a good compilation. Of the Maryland Delegation, three voted for it: Hoyer, Ruppersberger and Bartlett. In the senate, Milkulski and Sarbanes both voted against.

It gets better

Got an email from the Justice Policy Institute expressing aggravation that while prison populations are down nationwide, Maryland's prison population is up. Of course one's first gut reaction is, I don't want to pay $40-60 a day to feed, house and clothe 1.8% more assorted fuckweasels and fudgeclowns. But-- could it be-- dare we imagine-- that the growth in state prison population is a sign that homicides and shootings are down because police are arresting the right people, prosecutors are bringing better cases, rapes are being investigated and prosecuted and the jury pool is sucking slightly less? Note that per Gary Maynard, 40% of MD's prison population is from Baltimore City, 25% is from PGC, 15% from Baltimore County, and the state's other 21 counties make up the rest.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bullies: mostly winning

Mike, the owner of the Up Close barber shop is still in critical condition after being shot in the head during the course of a robbery yesterday. Police are ISO a lead.

Nelson Bernard Clifford, a sex offender who just beat rape charges, was linked by DNA to two more rapes*. And was also charged with a rape last month. He was also charged with failing to register as a sex offender, but the circuit court dropped those charges, 10 days before he was charged with rape again.

A year and a day on tax evasion charges for former criminal defense attorney Stanley Needleman, who had $1.3 million in cash from clients stashed in his basement. Probably there's a lot more to this story, probably involving laundering drug proceeds, but probably we'll never know. For what it's worth, in June Needleman was also charged with stealing a book from a courtroom.

Justin Fenton is trying to figure out how Brandon Mitchell, 18, was arrested for murder and released on bail*-- twice in one week, no less, and after a commissioner ordered him held without bond.

Oh crackheads, you so crazy! A burglar broke into a house by busting through the wall of the vacant next door.

Nationwide, death-penalty cases are at a 35-year low, says the Death Penalty Information Center.

Jury selection was underway this morning in the case of parents who are suing the city school system for $1.3 million for not doing enough to protect their special-needs son from bullies at Hazelwood and Glenmount Elementary Schools. More here*

In other torty news, Blockbuster just settled sexual harassment and retaliation claims from its Gaithersburg distribution center for $2 million.

And no decision yesterday from Judge Althea Handy*, who was asked to dismiss a $100 million SLAPP suit from the state aimed at opponents of the $1.5 billion State Center project. Two plaintiffs dropped out of the suit in exchange for the state agreeing to not sue them for suing.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Crazy numbers

Some amazing stats reported at the CJCC meeting today:
  • From January 1 until today, there have been 549 homicides and shootings so far in the city, compared with 942 in 2000.
  • The city closed about 1,000 more felony cases this year than it did in 2010, thanks to reorganization of the docket and the addition of a second administrative judge.
  • Deaths in which the manner was undetermined are way down, from 331 in 2007 to a virtually unprecedented 154 so far this year, said David Fowler of the ME's office. (Most of these are drug-related, with the ME's office unable to determine if a heroin addict injected themselves or was injected by someone else, which would make the death technically a homicide).
  • Arrested citizens released without charges are also way down from last year, with the city releasing 70% fewer arrestees with no charges than last year-- 4,875 fewer people.
  • And finally, homicide arrests: 93 so far this year for 189 homicides, for a tidy 50% clearance rate.
Of course, every rose has its thorn, and the one currently bedeviling the city's backside is property crime. So far this year the BPD reports that home-invasion robberies with a gun are up 25%, rape arrests are up 63% (of course we have an inkling as to why that might be*), burglary is up 12%, and commercial robberies with a gun are up 75% over this time last year.

So why so few shootings, murders and overdoses, and why so much robbery? Is the judicial system just that more effective this year? Is the economy turning former shoplifters into armed home invaders? All or none of the above? Mysteries abound...

A murder conviction, cross-dressing cops and a stolen sandwich

The Ink covers last week's five murders

A second man, Kedar Anderson, was convicted for involvement in the murder of Kenneth Jones, former leader of the Pasadena Denver Lanes Bloods gang.

Police Tweet "4200 block Ivanhoe. Adult male reported to be shot in the leg"
A warning to the patrons of the transgendered prostitutes of Charles Village, a sting operation is "forthcoming."* (Is "transgenders" really a plural noun?)

Sixteen students at Chesapeake High School in Essex were sent to the hospital after an officer used pepper spray to break up a fight.

Baltimore rape suspect Kendall Thomas Lynn was arrested in NC

Molto duro combattimento between bocce players in Little Italy

A $77,500 fine for Wheelabrator Baltimore, after the company's smokestack showered us all with mercury.

A $500k fine for Wells Fargo, which made defamatory statements about a local broker

A snowblower, three 500-pound weights and an air conditioner among the purloined loot in Towson last week.* Stolen in the Northern: a snakeskin wallet, deodorant, a buffalo chicken sub.

Federal judge: it's legal to not hire tattooed prospective cops

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Settling for less

More city lawsuit payouts TK*, including $375k to the family of Edward Lamont Hunt, unarmed and fatally shot in the back in the parking lot of the Hamilton Park Shopping Center in 2008 (You might remember ... Officer Thomas Sanders was charged with manslaughter, but acquitted) and $36,600 for an army reservist who didn't get his job back after his service.

Five-time felon McKenzie White got 19 years in the federal pen after his latest attempted robbery that was stymied by his clever would-be victim and his quick-thinking dad.

A disturbing number of citizens robbed by teenagers in the latest Baltimore Guide police blotter

Timothy Ray Berry of Owings Mills copped a guilty plea to illegal possession of weapons and explosives: he shot a kid in the leg with a BB gun, which led the FBI to search his house and find his stash of C-4 explosive material, an M-800 pyrotechnic device, containers of potassium nitrate and potassium chlorate, smokeless shotgun powder, model rocket igniters and motors, pool chemicals, various fuse materials, PVC and metal pipe of varying lengths and pipe fittings. (And he would've gotten away with it, if it wasn't for that kid!)

Stealing donations from the United Way? That's low, Dorothy Shields Talbot.

The death of a 57-year-old inmate at the North Branch Correctional Institution was ruled a homicide, the medical examiner say Lewis J. Thompson Jr. was strangulated.

How much would it cost to tear down the city's vacant buildings? Oh, take a wild guess.

Goodbye Occupy

The Occupy Baltimore encampment is gone*. Police evicted them peacefully around 3 AM this morning with no arrests being reported.
(Un-paywalled-story here at the SF Chronicle, and video from Fenton*, who apparently never sleeps and/or was tipped off by someone... - MJ)

Monday, December 12, 2011


A 58-year-old man was stabbed to death at an apartment complex for seniors in the NW.
Police released a sketch, left, of a suspect wanted for a robbery/stabbing at a gas station on Nov. 6 in the 2200 block of North Charles Street

The city's 11th police-involved shooting this year was one Franklin Williams, 38, now in critical condition. His family says he suffers from schizophrenia; police say was wielding a knife and wouldn't drop it. As per their custom, BPD has refused to release the officer's name.

Two shootings yesterday in west Baltimore

A man found suspiciously dead in a Remington parking lot was ID'd as Steven Rudy, 53.

A suspect was arrested after trying to rob the PNC bank inside the Towson University student union.

Can police check a passenger's immigration status during a traffic stop? If a passenger in a car has a history of arrest for armed robbery, can he be lawfully patted down for weapons? Can Spanish-speaking prospective jurors be dismissed if they aren't sure they can ignore any Spanish they encounter in favor of a translator's translation? All these questions and more answered in TDR's roundup of Fourth-Circuit Court of Appeals' Opinions

From the Evergreen listserv:
Video Americain [on Cold Spring Lane] was robbed on Wednesday, 7th of December at 9:30PM. We have a description of the robber who claimed to be wielding a firearm (which was never shown) and assaulted one of our employees before robbing us: African-American. 5'8 or 5'9. Skinny. Short dreads. Tribal-looking tattoo under left eye. Also noticed a smaller one near his right eye.
O'Malley wants Lady Gaga to come to MD to fight against bullying. Insert punchline here.
An arrest has been made in a September killing in Dundalk. Jeremiah Ezekiel Edwards, 19 has been charged with first degree murder for the murder of Robert Charles Nelson, 24.

County police are searching for a missing 14-year-old girl. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Madison Renee Davis of Dundalk, please let the authorities know.

A shooting outside Club Envy on Maryland Ave. puts three in the hospital.

Police in Towson have arrested a man for committing a series of Goodwill store robberies. Richard Carvan Pettaway, 29, who also happened to be a former employee of the Padonia store, was busted after showing he seriously lacked goodwill. (That was terrible...)

Durante Ricco Ervin, 50, a Pikesville vagrant was arrested for committing several robberies including one where he threw an elderly couple to the ground during a house robbery.

After three years the search for Brittany Peart has taken a tragic end with the discovery of her body in a field in Delaware.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Man shot at 29th & Calvert

A man was shot in the head at Calvert and 29th streets in Charles Village at 11 p.m. last night. UPDATE: he was ID'd as Brandon Hudson, 22*, shot while sitting on a couch in the first floor of an apartment.

and Police Tweet, "Triple Shooting, 1800 Blk Maryland Ave (Central District), 12:58am, adult males shot."

Fenton Tweets that 1992 shooting victim Ronald Watkins had been hanging out at Odell's nightclub. (Remember Odell's? That place was awesome). Apparently this story was written just two weeks before Watkins' shooting-- the armed guards must have not done much good. The club was owned by Milton Tillman, Jr., of bail bonds fame, and defended by his lawyer, Elijah Cummings. Heh heh, Doo Doo Brown.

Ten years for an Edgewood cocaine dealer, whose slang term for crack was "the Jolly Rancher."

A 12th officer, Rafael Feliciano Jr., has pleaded guilty in the towing scandal

More speed cameras have gone up around town for a total of 142 (!!) -- noticed a new one on North Charles St. southbound at Blythewood (by Loyola) when some Speedy McJerkwad in front of me got the flash, a location that notably not on this list. Not a bad idea to check the list-- then drive like a grandma anyway.

A new e-book about Ed Norris is out, focusing on his investigation of the shooting death of Jew­ish Defense League founder Rabbi Mier Kahan while with the NYPD. If you're interested, you can download it for Kindlefor less than a buck.

A Federal court judge ruled bloggers aren't entitled to journalists' legal protections that allow them to shield sources. In other words, bloggers, if you allege something expect to have to prove it's true. &@%#!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Plain clothes cops speak plainly

BPD caught on tape being less than polite during a traffic stop.

186, 187

Why so stabby, Baltimore? Another fatal stabbing, this time a 45-year-old man in the NW*; in the 3500 block of Woodland Ave. Update: Fenton ID's the man as Christopher Gilliam, and says a female "of interest" is in custody but not charged.

Ronald Watkins, shot 19 years ago at the corner of North Ave and Charles Street, has died from his injuries and been added to this year's homicide toll.

A suspiciously dead body that is either male or female-- or is it two bodies? was found in Remington. WMAR clears up the mystery-- it's a body that police first reported was a woman, then decided was male. Ok then.

A woman was robbed of her cell phone by a guy driving a Cadillac and wielding a baseball bat; in Abell a would-be robber was disarmed by employees; a 7-Eleven robbed in Remington in the North Baltimore Patch blotter.

The Country Club of Maryland was burglarized and thieves made off with $2,000 of stuff-- aka one-third of one member's initiation dues.

Today in bad sex news, two officers are are on leave following an alleged public threesome; a Glen Burnie teacher is in trouble for having sex with three students.

Here's a theory to ponder: trust in government leading to a lower crime rate, with the decline in crime the past few years a result of "the Obama effect."

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


A man stabbed to death on Eastern Avenue Northeast N. East Avenue

A man shot multiple times at 12:39 p.m. in the 700 block of Willow Avenue, mere blocks (but worlds away) from Guilford

A second week with only one murder (that we know of). The unfortunate victim was Kenneth Davis, 29.

Attorneys need to stop releasing information about who's snitching cooperating with law enforcement, said RJR* following the indictments of Tavon Dameon Davis, 24, and Bruce Eric Byrd, 26, for conspiring and committing murder for hire, murdering a witness and conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

Tyrone Jackson, 52, pleaded guilty in federal court to possessing $488,572.50 in forged checks and 327 videos and 779 photos of pornographic images of children (why do the pedo guys always have so many damn images?).

Assault victim Christy Lee Polis was charged with disorderly conduct after reporting a robbery in the county.

Eastern District commander is owner of a run-down vacant that he's too broke* to fix up, reports the Sun's Scott Calvert

Deposed fraudster Belinda Conaway attended her last City Council meeting on Monday night, as did Nick D'Adamo, who serenaded the venerable council with a parody tune.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Schurick Guilty on all Four Counts

Tweeted Luke Broadwater

Update, here's the Sun story*, the WBAL story (featuring an old clip that includes character witness John Heath: "the Paul Schurick that I know was a person who went in the hood ... and he hung out in Old York Road with the brothers.")

.. and down in PGC, seven years in the slammer for Jack "put it in your panties" Johnson.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Deputy shot in the line of duty may be fired

He took a bullet while serving a murder warrant, now he may take a fall for speaking to the media.

Meanwhile, no end in sight to the city worker turned criminal turned tax payer funded pensioner (aka The Dixon rule)

'never thought he'd do something like that to a friend'

Hampden went on lockdown yesterday due to the report of a roving armed loonybird

Three people reported shot this weekend, Tweeted the BPD: two adult males at Vancouver & Markham, and a woman shot in the 900 block of Jack Street.

Paul Schurick's robocall case is expected to go to the jury today; he faces a maximum of 12-16 years in jail if convicted on three conspiracy charges and failure to supply an authority line. (WJZ says 12 years, the WaPo says 5 years for 3 counts plus one year for the authority line thing... who's right?). Henson's trial is scheduled for February.

Trial postponed for Dante Parrish, a convicted murderer accused of killing teenager Jason Mattison, right. "The family told 11 News at the time of the slaying that Parrish was a friend and that they knew he was a convicted murderer but never thought he'd do something like that to a friend."

Stolen copper gutters, yes, latest trend, no. In spite of feeble legal attempts to crack down on the sale of stolen metal, homeowners are still getting (literally) ripped off... exacerbating the suck, homeowner's associations are forcing some residents to re-purchase the luxury gutters.

National: D.E.A. launders millions of dollars in drug money to find out who's laundering money. Ps., happy 78th Repeal Day! Have some fun facts about prohibition. ("In Los Angeles, a jury that had heard a bootlegging case was itself put on trial after it drank the evidence"). There are still more than 100 dry communities in the U.S., but none in Maryland, where no municipality is allowed to have an ordinance more strict than state law. Though you'd think MD's annoying prohibition against buying booze on Sunday dates back to the Volstead act, it actually doesn't-- it apparently dates all the way back to pre-colonial times.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


There really needs to be a word that combines ridiculous and horrible. Ridorrible? Horriculous? Whatever you call it, it was bountiful Friday at the robocall trial, with the defense calling somewhere between nine and 18"character" witnesses* to testify to the general awesomeness of Ehrlich's campaign manager, Paul Shurick. How their platitudes could be material to the facts I can't imagine, but anyway, the beacons of virtue hand-picked to testify included executive director of the Maryland Coal Association, a firefighter, and Michael Steele, now best known for presiding over the Republican party as it wooed donors with bottle service at a bondage club. Oh, and also former governor Marvin Mandel, now 92 years old and best known as MD's first (and only) convicted-felon governor, who spent 19 months in jail on various fraud charges. And Schurick testified for his own defense, blaming it all on his underling. "I recall saying to Julius, 'I’m paying you $16,000 a month, give us a plan." Adding to the ridiculorribleness, beloved dykon Jayne Miller broke her ankle on a city shitty sidewalk while covering the case. And BTW and p.s., after testifying that he had never heard the robocall, on Friday a special agent basically proved that he had. Then he admitted it. D'oh!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Good Jeebuz! Three men were arrested last night after a four-hour, two-county crime spree that involved 12 victims, including a man stripped naked, another man shot in the eye and the leg, and a wrecked Lincoln Continental.

A third murder at Perkins Hospital? Really?

The prosecution rested yesterday in the robo-call case, after Julius Henson's employee Rhonda Russell, who recorded the "relax, everything's fine" message, offered the lamest excuses ev. er., testifying that the calls were "reverse psychology ... I was told this call would stimulate whoever wanted to vote for Mr. Ehrlich." Never mind that the calls went only to Democrats or that Russell's notes included the phrase "suppress turnout in black communities." Not every member of the black community is horrified by this, though. Wrote Mr. Hassan MrPolitics Giordano on the Facebooks, "First their aim was at Julius (Henson), and still is quite frankly; now they're looking 2 hang Frank Conaway?! I guess an outspoken black man who doesn't have 2 rely on them 2 gain fortune & fame better learn their place huh?! SMDH...#BlackMan'sRights??"

Speaking of, the Sun has posted the police report from the Conaway/Meister kerfuffle... oh my, not very flattering to either one of them! The report says Adam Scott attempted a karate kick, and Frank Melvin was indeed on the sidewalk with his gun. Oh, my.

Stephanie Lynn Schwab, the "Blonde Bandit," the Thanksgiving carjacker, the potato-chinned MS-13 mom, was nabbed on the D.C. beltway after robbing a bank in McLean, VA.

More good news: Fenton tweets that November ended with "only" 10 homicides: the lowest level in 40 years. A man who allegedly home-invaded the elderly in Pikesville has been arrested. So relax. Everything is fine. The only thing left is to watch it on TV tonight. Congratulations, and thank you.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sixth time's a charm?

Drug dealer, convicted double-murderer and amateur lawyer Anthony Grandison is headed to the Court of Appeals* for the sixth time. Grandison is currently on death row for hiring Vernon Evans to kill David Piechowicz and Susan Kennedy in April of 1983.


Fatal shooting of a 29-year-old man on the 500 block of South Bentalou Street; a carjacking at Dru Hill and Whitelock.

The Ink details last week's single homicide, and the fifth fatal police-involved shooting of the year.

The defense and prosecution agreed yesterday that Ehrlich's campaign manager, Paul Schurick, personally approved the "relax" robocalls, and prosecutors described a desperate and panicked election eve for the Republican campaign. Fun fact: the Sun's Justin Fenton was the sleuth who traced the calls to the Ehrlich campaign.

Fenton and Hermann follow up on TAB's tip that Darnell Kinlaw, charged with car theft in the Annie McCann case as a teenager, has now been arrested for killing Lakeisha Player and stealing her car*. Kinlaw was apparently out of jail due to the magic of concurrent sentences and credit for time served.

And another murder arrest, Jerome Burgess Jr.*, 19, has been charged in the murder of 25-year-old Tavon Toney, who was robbed and killed walking on Franklin St. Incredibly, reports Fenton, this is Burgess' fifth arrest this year.

The special prosecutor for the Meister vs. Conaway kerfuffle has been appointed*, one Steven I. Kroll, head of the Maryland State Attorney's Association. Don't know if he shares Meister and Bernstein's "commonality of their religion*" (Kroll is a German name, with a family crest of two crossed bird feet), but surely Conaway's lawyer will squawk regardless.

Occupy Baltimore permit = denied! Didn't that happen already, you say? Indeed it did, in October the group applied for a permit and was denied then, too, but nothing came of it. Parks & Rec. also adds that "assemblies of more than 150 are prohibited." Isn't that kind of, like, a violation of the 1st Amendment?

Greenmount Avenue merchants worry about crime. Remember when you could go there after dark, get a Pupu platter at Uncle Lee's and browse for books at the bookstore across the street? Old person sigh ...

Sonja Sohn on violence

Wire actress talked about the impact of growing up in a violent home at a summit in Baltimore.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Policing the police

The city's Civilian Review Board investigated but didn't want to talk about a whole bunch of complaints against city officers.

Murder Arrests, Identifications...

32-year-old Steven Pennington has been Id'd as the man shot to death at the intersection of Moreland Ave. and Presbury St. on Nov. 14.

This week's Murder Ink gives more details of the robbery-murder of 25-year-old Tavon Toney, allegedly committed by Jerome Burgess Jr, 19.

The Sun has updates on another murder arrest alongside that of Jerome Burgess Jr. Arrested for the murder of Lakeisha Player was Darnell Kinlaw Jr., 21. *

If the name Darnell Kinlaw sounds familiar, it might be because of his peculiar involvement in the Annie McCann case. McCann, if you don't remember, was a 16-year-old girl who ran away from her Virgina home, only to end up dead in a trash can in Southeast Baltimore. Kinlaw's involvement in the case only revolved around his having been charged with stealing her car. Those charges were later dropped, much to the chagrin of McCann's parents.

One has to wonder if a man already accused of a murder of one woman might have had a larger-than-thought-of role in the death of Annie McCann. That is, of course, all speculation. What isn't speculation is the fact that Darnell Kinlaw was in no way supposed to be free at the time of the alleged murder of Player. He had been sentenced to 3 years and 4 years, respectively, in two different cases in January of 2011. Even with prior time served and parole after having served half of his sentence, there is still no reason why he would be released any earlier than early-to-mid 2012. A shame all around.

Finally, a gas leak turned up a lot more than the broken gas valve: instead a grow-op was found in this McElderry St. row-home.

Three escapes, a scapegoat and a zebra

Good grief, $107k to settle two more police-misconduct lawsuits, reports the Brew. Has Bealefeld decided that lawsuits are cheaper than training?

Fenton writes about the changes to the crack-sentencing law that will eventually allow for the release of about 50 Maryland inmates*

Police say a lady carjacker (and MS-13 member) may be in the area; keep your eyes peeled for one Stephanie Lynn Schwab. She's a mom of two, and has a neck tattoo and a potato chin.

Also keep an eye out for Cornelius Moore, who police say escaped home detention. Also Nathan Cockrel, who was accidentally released from Central Booking. Oopsies!

A Poly student is in caliente agua after allegedly bringing a gun to school*

One duplicate conspiracy charge was thrown out today against Paul Schurick in the robocall case, but by the end of the day both the defense and prosecution agree that he approved the calls.

Oh, look, the lawyer repping Frank Conaway Sr., J. Wyndal Gordon, is also defending Tiffany Alston (D- PGC) against allegations of campaign-finance violations (specifically, using campaign $$ to finance her wedding) ... and guess which group Gordon is scapegoating for her charges?

... and who knew that while the circus was in town in 2008, two zebras escaped?

* Sun link

Monday, November 28, 2011

"things happen differently"

... so what did I miss, Baltimore?
It looks like police arrested one Alvin Ray Wright Sr.*, 48, for the rape of a 13-year-old girl in an abandoned rowhouse on N. Caroline Street in October. He doesn't have a record of prior sex offenses, just drug and car-theft charges, but DNA evidence implicated his evil ass after his sample was given high priority in the testing queue.

A woman robbed with a toy gun in Roland Park and a shootout in the 5400 block of York Road in the North Baltimore Patch Blotter

The Conaway/Meister drama continues, and here's a nugget that will make you crap a book on how to puke: Conaway's lawyer J. Wyndal Gordon says Conaway is being investigated because both Meister and Bernstein are Jewish*: "When you have a situation where you have a Jewish victim and an African-American male, you have things happen differently than if it happened to be a regular case ... perhaps because of their commonality in their religion."

Ehrlich aides' robocall trial kicks off today. Hilariously, the wife of the judge in the case got one of the calls, but Judge Lawrence Fletcher Hill says that won't affect his judgment.

Bernstein has hired a young hotshot to do some prosecutin' up in the state's attorney's office*, heading up a division that is "new" and "major." His notable achievements so far include attending basketball games, making a baby, and encouraging prosecutors to paint their offices (with coveralls over their suits, one hopes).

WTF?! County man committed suicide by setting himself on fire in front of cops

ps. this is weird, the Sun reported yesterday* that James L. Owens is suing the city of Baltimore for $15 million ... but the suit was filed (and widely reported) on October 12. A worthwhile story to be sure, but why write about it now?

* Sun link ... I'll try to warn you from here on out so you can save your monthly clicks!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Scrappy city workers

Brazen DPW workers discuss ripping of the city with the cameras rolling

The Turkey's Not the Only One Getting Stabbed

A thanksgiving stabbing in Milford Mill. A 51-year-old man spotted a very intoxicated man, identified as Gilberto Mendez, 24, in the middle of the street. While trying to get him him out of the street Mendez took it upon himself to break a bottle and stab the 51-year-old. What a wonderful time of year.

Police have id'd the knife wielding man shot to death by police as 52-year-old Anthony Stoakley.

Dundalk resident Mason Smith, 19, is in a whole lot of trouble after striking a cop with his car while fleeing arrest.

Baltimore County Police have come to the conclusion that the person who killed Russian woman Yulia Pogrebenko was her federal-prisoner son

A missing person in Hunt Valley may be the same woman pulled from a burning car.

Finally, over in Aruba, a judge has decreed that 50-year-old Gary Giordano is to be released from custody.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

27 Shotings = 20 Years

The case against notorious drug kingpin Stephen Blackwell has come to a somewhat anti-climactic ending when Blackwell (Pictured right in the first picture I've ever seen of him) pled guilty to heroin conspiracy charges as well as a variety of other non-violent crimes.

While Blackwell was never charged with any of the violence that threw him into the spotlight, he was believed to have been at the head of an organization that engaged in a violent war, resulting in the shootings of 27 people. All of the violence started with the April 2008 abduction of brothers Stephon and Sterling Blackwell. Interestingly enough, young Stephon is already following in his older brothers footsteps, with an early 2012 trial for drug dealing and a conviction for prescription drug fraud already on his record.

This abduction set off a war between the Stephen Blackwell organization and the Terrell Allen group. Allen, 38, is also serving a federal prison sentence for possession of ammunition. No end-all prison fight between the two drug leaders will likely occur due to Terrell Allen likely being released in January.

Throughout this long ordeal there were many shootings and several notable homicides including: Omar Spriggs; one of the men responsible for the abduction of the Blackwell brothers, Tony Allen; who was Terrell Allen's dad and was shot alongside his son and Spriggs, as well as Quinton Hogan and Donell Rogers. Also killed were Troy Wilson and Demarco Brown Jr; the two men believed to be responsible for the Hogan & Rogers murder, Anthony Izzard, and kidnapping/murder victim Eric Pendergrass Jr.
Thanks to Justin Fenton and the Baltimore Sun as well as City Paper for all the information found here.


The news keeps coming in the Adam Meister-Frank Conaway yard scuffle case. Now an outside prosecutor is going to be handling the case. This is a pretty good move, since an unbiased prosecution is nearly impossible to get with this case.

A city police officer fatally shot an man armed with two knives at the 3300 block of Edmonson Ave.

50 Years in prison for Michael Hunter, 20, for shooting 72-year-old security guard Charles Bowman in the often-dangerous Yau Brothers Chinese take-out restaurant.

A Windsor Mill teen is in serious condition after being shot by two unknown males while walking to a 7-11.

Occupy Baltimore protestors are giving it another shot to obtain a park permit.

54-year-old Russia teacher Yulia Pogrebenko, who was found dead in the Chesapeake Bay after having gone missing during a trip to Maryland has been officially deemed a homicide victim. No charges have been filed as of yet.

Baltimore County police are citing pedestrian error for the death of 74-year-old William Norton, Jr.

Finally, a Dundalk couple are in the hospital after both somehow getting doused in flammable liquid before catching on fire.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


As-of-yet-unidentified man shot in the head at the 900 block of Franklin St.

This weeks' murder ink notes several homicide arrests as well as two cases closed by exception; the death of Earl Brown, who was shot in 1999, and the murder of 1-year-old Davon Booth Jr.

Still no info on the body found in the World Trade Center Monday morning.

The story of how a traffic stop in Louisiana led to a drug arrest in Baltimore.

An apparent arrest in a triple stabbing in White Marsh, though the suspect wasn't id'd.

Flash mobs strike again in Montgomery County.

Glen Burnie murder suspect Cornelius Keith Johnson, 24, inadvertently turns himself in.

Finally, 12 years in federal prison for now thrice-convicted Baltimore drug dealer Stephen Johnson, 31.

So... apparently they didn't kick out the wall street protestors?

Clerk, clerk thyself

Oh, too funny. The MD state police report that the handgun Frank Conaway, Sr. may or may not have "brandished" while he was or wasn't chasing Adam Meister has an expired permit. If it's true that Conaway left his property with the gun, he could be facing a month in jail. Oh, my. Conaway is the Clerk of the Court, so his job is to file and maintain the court's records and legal documents. Yet he groused to Justin Fenton, "I was never notified. I think there's an obligation on the part of the state police to notify." ... uh, really? If anyone knows that kind of information shouldn't it be the Clerk of the Court?!
... here's a WBAL interviews with "strong young guy" Adam and "I could have taken care of him otherwise" Frank.

.. and why is no one asking (or telling) exactly what Adam said to Frank?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tonight's the night

... Occupy Baltimore gets evacuated, camper-protestors believe.

In other news, Adam Meister claims doddering Clerk of the Court Frank Conaway, Senior, took a swing at him today, after Meister ran into him and asked him why he wasn't at work at 10:30 a.m on a Monday and other harsh words were exchanged. LMFAO! One (rather far-fetched) version of the story has Meister pounding on the door and delivering a karate chop. In the police version Conaway brandished a firearm, but Meister claims he didn't.

And the case of the fetal-alocohol-syndrome-lookin brothers accused of burning Phoenix the pit bull was postponed for the 4th time.

And octogenarian Margaret Hepburn has gone missing, please call 911 if you see her.

Broken Legal Education

One thing law school fails at teaching is how to be a lawyer.