Saturday, July 2, 2005

July 2

There'll be no new trial for convicted child sexual abuser Maurice Blackwell. From Jessamy's office:
State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy announced late Friday that the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office will not pursue a new trial in the pending sexual abuse indictment against Maurice Blackwell. Her decision late Friday afternoon followed a meeting with the victim in the pending case, who was informed of the State's Attorney's decision not to prosecute the sexual abuse charges in a new trial this fall. "The State's Attorney must fairly and reasonably consider each criminal case based on the law, the facts and the evidence. After a thorough review of the sex abuse statute, the original trial transcript, meetings with prosecutors and detectives, and consideration of possible sentencing outcomes, as well as the legal guidelines that outline the requirements of the sex offense registry in Maryland, I reached a decision that I believe is in the interest of justice," said State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy. On April 8 the Honorable Stuart R, Berger ordered a new trial after a motion filed by Maurice Blackwell's defense attorney sought to overturn guilty verdicts on three count of sexual child abuse rendered by a Baltimore jury on February 17. The jury acquitted Blackwell of the alleged 1989 abuse charge but convicted him of the 1990-1992 abuse charges. Each felony charge of sexual child abuse carries a maximum penalty of 15 years.
So it sounds like Blackwell is free to go. And in spite of the Attorney's office releasing the statement on a Friday afternoon when most reporters are at the bar, the story has gone international. And here's the link to the Sun story.

Friday, July 1, 2005

July 1

A man has been shot multiple times in Northwest Baltimore.

A 12-year-old Baltimore girl, Raven Randal, is missing in Massachusetts and an Amber alert has been issued. UPDATE: She's been found.

So maybe things could be worse: I was shocked to hear that in the California penal system, an inmate a week dies from neglect or maltreatment.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

June 30

Wilton Britton got 15 years for robbing the Provident Bank on Reisterstown Road.

jenningsJudge Paul Alpert sentenced police officer Keith Jennings (pictured left), 37, of Billie Holliday Court, to 10 years in prison, suspend all but three years and three years probation at a sentencing hearing today. A city jury convicted Jennings June 2 of one count of perverted practice. Oddly, the jury found him not guilty of misconduct while in office (if it had been missionary that would have been okay, I guess).

At a hearing today Judge Allen L. Schwait sentenced Derrick Green, 39, to 45-years in prison. A Baltimore City jury convicted Green April 26 of two counts attempted second-degree murder, two counts of use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence and felon in possession of a handgun. Judge Schwait ordered that Green serve 20 years in prison for the first attempted second-degree murder count, 20 years in prison for the second attempted first-degree murder count and five years in prison for the felon in possession of a handgun count. Judge Schwait ordered that these sentences run consecutively. Judge Schwait also ordered Green to serve two concurrent 20-year prison terms for each use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence count. On March 26, 2004 Green approached a basketball court located in the 1400 block of Strohmeyer Way, removed a black handgun from his "dip" area and began shooting several times toward individuals on the basketball court. All of the individuals were juvenile boys, two of whom were struck. One suffered a gunshot wound to his right leg and the other suffered a gunshot wound to the left ankle. Both boys were 13 years old at the time of the incident.

At a hearing today Judge David Young sentenced Kevin Gross, 35, to 55 years in prison. A Baltimore City jury convicted Gross May 18 of attempted second-degree murder, use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence and felon in possession of a handgun. Judge Young ordered that Gross serve 30 years in prison for the attempted second-degree murder, 20 years in prison, first five without the possibility of parole, for the use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence count and five years in prison for the felon in possession of a handgun count. Judge Young ordered all the sentences to run consecutively. On July 19, 2004 Gross entered a house in the 200 block of Dallas Court where William Mobley, 39, was with an acquaintance. Gross ordered Mobley to "kick it out" at which point Mobley gave Gross some money. Gross then demanded more money, pistol whipping Mobley and knocking several teeth out. Gross then fired multiple shots at Mobley, striking him once in the shoulder.

The attempted murder trial of David Ellerby, 32, of the 400 block of E. Lanvale Street, is scheduled to begin 9:30 tomorrow morning before Judge McCurdy. The Baltimore City Grand Jury indicted Ellerby May 15, 2003 for attempted first-degree murder, assault, conspiracy to commit murder and handgun violations. Court documents allege that on April 14, 2003 Ellerby attempted to murder Jammar Jones. Ellerby is also charged separately with felony narcotics counts and is pending trial July 6 and a first-degree murder count and is pending trial August 11.

The Baltimore City Grand Jury indicted correctional officer Sherman Lawrence, 21 and inmates Ronald McClary, 35, and Donte Smith, 24, for attempted first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, first-degree assault and weapons counts in connection to a stabbing at the Baltimore City Detention Center on May 11. Court documents allege Lawrence, McClary and Smith conspired to murder inmate Ronald Scott, 26. Scott was stabbed in the Baltimore City Detention Center on May 11. Scott survived and remains at the Detention Center awaiting trial July 18 on attempted murder charges. Lawrence is being held at the Detention Center on a no bail status. Smith is being held at the Detention Center on a no bail status and is awaiting trial September 6 on felony drug charges. McClary is an inmate in the Maryland Division of Correction, serving a 10 year prison term following a violation of probation in a felony narcotics case.

Ehrlich announced today that the troubled Hickey School will close November 30.

The city is suing the state over the problems at Central Booking (I guess the state runs Central Booking, not the city. So maybe it's not O'Malley's fault after all?).

Robert Keenan, the "Ecstasy Doctor," was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

June 29

More details on last week's murders in the ink.

Relatives of inmates murdered at Central Booking held a vigil last night. Meanwhile, two inmates were shanked at Jessup.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

June 28

The murder trial of Donnell Harrell, 18, is scheduled for 9:30 tomorrow morning before Judge Paul A. Smith. The Baltimore City Grand Jury indicted Harrell November 20, 2003 (that's right, a year and a half ago) for first-degree murder, attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Court documents allege that on November 1, 2003 Donnell Harrell stabbed James Hudson, 15, and Eric Lecount, 15, in the 600 block of Cherry Hill Road. Mr. Hudson died as a result of his injuries. Harrell's brother, Michael Harrell, 17, pled guilty May 25, 2005 to first-degree murder in connection to this incident and is serving a 30-year prison sentence. Donnell Harrell is currently being held without bail at the Baltimore City Detention Center.

Ross Talp, 19, of Park Heights Avenue is scheduled for arraignment tomorrow before Judge Heard. Talp was indicted on June 3 of this year for first-degree murder and for the use of a deadly weapon in connection with the death of his mother, Margo Antoinette Baker. Court documents allege that on April 27 Talp called police to report his mother had been missing since April 26. May 5 an anonymous tipster contacted the Baltimore City Police Homicide Unit and informed them that Talp killed his mother and dumped her body in the woods. Talp allegedly confessed to the murder and told detectives that the body was located in Leakin Park in the 4000 block of Clifton Avenue. Talp is currently held without bail.

The Sun has more on the city's youngest murder suspect, the 13-year old who shot two guys in Northwest Baltimore (mom wore a "Stop Snitchin'" hat to court!), and the four other violent murders of the weekend which brought the year's toll to 133.

In Gambrills, James Sidney, 35, of Hyattsville was shot at a party hosted by a couple of NFL linebackers.

Guess who's also not an O'Malley fan dept: Bmore city's Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3 has endorsed Steele for Senate. "We love the governor," said the union president (which in this town is the same as saying "we hate the mayor").

Score one for the drunks: after the objections of Jayne Miller, police have canned their new policy of arresting people for DUIs and other traffic violations.

The usual horrors in the blotter, plus a mugged 10-year-old, robbed teenagers and a woman who tried to set her boyfriend on fire.

In Annapolis, a man was robbed of his pants and shot at, and a drunkard went haywire in the parking lot of the Sunset Restaurant.

PETA has added $1,000 reward towards an arrest in the case of the pit bull hung to death in Hanlon Park.

Monday, June 27, 2005

June 27

A week after a fatal stabbing in a Mt. Vernon soup kitchen, the bishop himself is dishing up chow.

Three people were shot at a basketball game Sunday.

On Friday, officer Ronald Johnson got 10 years in the shooting death of D'Koy Dancy, 14.

They may be beaten to death with alarming frequency, but at least prisoners at two facilities the Maryland system get some decent landscaping to look at.

Thirty-year-old Caprice Jackson was shot to death in Northeast Baltimore, on her birthday no less. And two men, Jerrod Hamlett, 23 and Eric Freeman, 21, were alledgedly shot by a 13-year old boy. (Is this improved, expanded blotter a sign that the Sun's crime coverage is improving? Hope so.)

BoCo police are investigating an alledged rape at a Pikesville psychiatric facility.

Sun coulmnist Dan Rodericks is on a mission to help drug dealers go legit.

Associates of the late businessman Robert Clay don't believe he committed suicide. Two gunshot wounds to the head and one bullet is a bit weird, as was the program from his funeral left with a threatening note written on it at the front door of Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr.

Charles Village residents are fighting plans to locate for a new state juvenile social-services center in the area. You know your neighborhood's bad news when its most devoted residents describe it as "an area visited by recovering drug addicts, people on parole and mental health patients."