Wednesday, February 8, 2006

February 8

The defense rested in the Melissa Harton/Natasha Bacchus Magee case.

The name of the woman whose body was found in Catonsville was Josie P. Brown of Buena Vista Lane in Hampden. The main suspect in the case is Christopher Gaumer, 22, who reportedly met the victim on

Robin Lee Welshons, 34, was shot to death at Ken's Motel in Aberdeen.

The first-degree murder trial of Kevin Johns Jr., accused of strangling inmate Philip Parker on a prison bus, will be held in Worcester County. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty.

Ink: There were four murders last week, bringing the city's total to 33. Ricky Medley, 19; Martrell Brown, 16; Kurt Bowie, 22; and Mitchell Briggs Jr., 33, all died of gunshot wounds. (The Sun reported three of the four, earning a solid "C.") Also, the death of Richard Lee Witherspoon, who died of injuries from a 1990 beating last November, was ruled a homicide, bringing 2005's murder total to 270.

Police in New Jersey are seeking Tyleek Baker, 25, for the murder of Francisco J. Olivares, 21. Baker has ties to Baltimore.

Nathaniel Bosley was arrested for the murder of Rashard Thomas. DNA helped solve a 15-year-old rape case. A man was shot in the hand in the Western. The Blotter ran that burning paper scrap item again.

In Cecil County, Justin Wright, 17, was convicted of stabbing Theodore Carter, 18, to death with a novelty Samurai sword.

Sixteen-year-old Christopher Watts, aka Hakim Veney, was arrested for an armed carjacking in Charles Village. Poor Keith Slaughter, who works for Catholic Charities, was forced into the trunk of his car but managed to escape.

Pikesville psychiatrist Roman Ostrovsky is accused of swindling Medicaid out of $300k.

Four thieves stole a security vehicle and an ATM machine from Annapolis Mall ... says this story ... that has a lot of ellipses ... for no apparent reason ...


Emptyman said...

Under the year-and-a-day rule, the Witherspoon death cannot be prosecuted as a homicide if the assault took place 16 years ago. So the city ought to get a pass on that one.

Maurice Bradbury said...

What's the year-and-a-day rule?

I'm amazed I found that gal's myspace profile. Poor thing.

Anonymous said...

Guilford Community to Hamm:"PAY MORE ATTENTION TO US"

That is essentially the headline for a report in the most recent edition of Baltimore Messenger concerning complaints of The Guilford Assciation and other Northern Baltimore community associations to Police Commissioner Hamm about crime.

Si Fitz said...

"In Cecil County, Justin Wright, 17, was convicted of stabbing Theodore Carter, 18, to death with a novelty Samurai sword."

The link associated with the above passage is broken.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Anonymous...

Yes, Guilford is upset with having to provide its own security when it pays a great deal of taxes. Its nearby neighbors have also been requesting that the department get serious about the tremendous criminality endemic to the corridor of neighborhoods flanking Greenmount Avenue.

They contain 10% of Baltimore's criminals (6% of the State's total) and about that same percentage of murders. In the Northern District, we understand the regional nature of crime-control. In the Messenger article, Hamm concedes that he really ought to have over 4000 sworn officers. He's over 1000 officers short, which means that the citywide patrol force is at about half strength.

The result is that officers really don't have time to bother with anything criminal unless and until it becomes seriously violent. While Hamm has explained that recruiting officers here is difficult because of a low-caliber applicant pool, frankly we don't care. If he cannot handle the personnel function, get a Commissioner who can.

Every private-sector firm in Baltimore manages to deal with the low quality of the employment pool. You raise your standards (drug-dependants need not apply) and pay a premium so as to compete with more attractive employers in neighboring jurisdictions in the counties.

The proposition, however, that criminal behavior will simply go unanswered is unacceptable to Guilford and to its neighbors as well.

InsiderOut said...

emptyman is dated himself with the year and a date rule. Back in the 19th century, if you hurt somebody and it took over a year a day for them to die, it was only an assault, not a murder. That arbitrary rule has been abolished in most places these days and it's more of a medical causation analysis to determine what caused the death.

InsiderOut said...

Some good news:
"Vehicle Theft Continues To Drop, Especially In City, Insurance Group Says"

It discusses the FBI's stats for vehicle theft in the City. Did the FBI confirm Baltimore's homicide total for last year? I thought I saw a link about that on here a week or two ago, but I cannot find it now. (I actually heard the police fudged some homicides as suicides or unexplained deaths).

InsiderOut said...

Oh, here's a great snippet from the WBAL article:

"While numbers show one thing, Scafidi said the decline has more to do with increased public awareness and visible anti-theft devices than aggressive police work. He said after the September 11th terrorist attacks, auto theft teams in a number of big jurisdictions were placed in higher priority crime areas.

"What drives those decisions in some departments is that auto theft, particulary if it's a purely property crime, there's no injury or damage to any persons involved, it is merely considered a property crime without any real need to get into any investigation to find out who did it, especially when victims are covered by insurance," he said. "There is not, in some views, any real loss to the victims, so why bother." "

Anonymous said...


The matter regarding understaffing of the BPD is being actively discussed under the Thread: "That's my Cadillac," Hamm said, "But I can drive a Pinto," in the Sun Talk Local News Forum.


Anonymous said...


My information is that the Northern Baltimore neighborhoods and community organizations were pleased with the leadership and efforts of Commissioner Clark. Under his leadership, the BPD moved out drug dealers, clamped down on violent crimes and other street crimes, got the streets cleaned and embraced the neighborhoods.

This may sound farfetched, but perhaps the community organizations should tell the Mayor: "Settle your dispute with Clark, and bring him back, now!"
Afterall, Clark had even less resources than Commissioner Hamm, but he got the job done.

Remember history. President Lincoln intially did not care for General Grant and gave him some mediocre tasks in the early years of the Civil War. But when he realized he was losing the war, President Lincoln turned to Grant, made him Commander of the Army of the Potomac, and then Grant went on to win the war!

Anonymous said...

No. Absolutely not. When Clark was hired I spoke with him at City College. I asked the same thing I've asked each Commish. for 8 years: "How many officers do you intend to hire?" Answer: "None. I can do it with computers." Clark was not highly regarded here. He was just cruising on the initial acceptance any new hire gets until he either excels or wears out his welcome.

It's the same ol' issue; always has been. BTW, really good thread referenced above. I recommend setting it up as a link on the site. This dialogue is substantially informed by the experience of cops on the beat.

Baltimore needs to get its priorities straight: decent policing for residents and businesspeople or subsidized convention hotels for tourists? Which will it be?

Maurice Bradbury said...

So there's the mystery, and such a simple question. Why don't we have an adequate police force? Since I've been doing the blog that seems to be the one thing that everyone can agree on, no matter the politics-- we need more police, they're understaffed. So what’s the problem? It isn't money, so what is it?

Anonymous said...

It's not been made to be important to the management of the BCPD. Hamm needs to be given a set of (feasible) performance benchmarks. If he cannot do the job, can him. Quickly. Since O'Malley does not at this time have the welfare of the city at the top of his priority list, the requirement needs to be imposed by the City Council or the State.

I'm not into the blame game, but I'm sick and tired of being told that we have outrageous crime Because...

There is no Because. You end it. Until then, No grants. No municipal white elephant projects. No favorable assessments for the Mayor of the second-nastiest conurbation in the nation.

Anonymous said...

Think of it this way: Suppose the sewer in your basement backs up. You call Rotorooter. He says it's backed up because of wadded-up paper in the line.

Do you say thank you and pay him as he leaves with two feet of sewage down there? No. His job is to fix it. If he cannot, you fire him and hire someone who can. Do you ever say "Oh, that's alright, I'll have to wade in it." ? No. Unacceptable.

From time to time a screw comes loose and a stable, law-abiding person goes postal and commits a violent crime. That's unexpected. The police can't do much about it. Most of our crime, however, is attributable to very familiar sources. Career hoodlums. The only limit to your ability to prevent those offenses is your manpower. In a small town where everyone but Johnny is pretty law-abiding, you watch Johnny like a hawk until he tries something. Then you lock him away. The only unique thing about Balto. is the number of Johnnies on the street. It's the East Coast's only open-air penitentiary. If you have X hoodlums, you need Y police officers. Just like sewage. I just don't want to hear 100 good reasons why I should stand in sewage.

Maurice Bradbury said...

Someone needs to start following the mayor around in a giant foam canned ham costume.

Anonymous said...

Weird, when I look at her profile it says she hasn't logged on since November and makes no mention of a child or being divorced. also Cybrarian, she was a PERSON, not a poor thing! Lives have meaning and value.


On the profile believed to be Brown's on MySpace, a woman describes herself as 27 and divorced, and as "fun, energetic, outgoing and straight to the point with a devilish sarcastic fun side."

"I just want to meet cool people," she wrote.

The woman writes of having a daughter on that profile. She lived in the Hampden area of the city.

Joe Jamison, who said he had been her friend for about four years, described her as "laid-back and funny." He said she had worked as a waitress but more recently had been doing odd jobs, including baby-sitting. Her daughter, he said, is about 7.

Anonymous said...

Actually that's her old myspace page, she set up a new one, I wonder what that link is? Check out the WJZ footage:

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

thanks anon, how did you track it down? that is some excellent googlin!

Maurice Bradbury said...

Yeah, thanks 'non.

And other non, of course I know she was a person, it's a figure of speech. Go bitch at the Sun and the tv news about the relative values of lives. None of them seemed to think the murders (just to use examples from the past two weeks) of 16-year-old Martrell Brown or that of Augustus Venable was worth a single mention. Only the CP bothered. That's one of the main reasons why I tend to this blog every day, because it's a goddamn racist, sexist disgrace.

Anonymous said...

pretty easy, i just browsed the profiles of 27-year old divorced women in the 21211 zip code and there she was. i've got the alleged killer's profile too, if you want it. it's weird because it's been saying all day that he's still online.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I didn't know you could browse Myspace by age and zip code... I had a profile but kind of stopped using it because of creepy guys sending me messages.. it's pretty hard to get a date in this town without running into a jerk and this whole myspace murder cause has me even more ascared of in ternet dating!

Maurice Bradbury said...

Guh-ross, he brags right there on the front page about being shaved from head to toe!

Malnurtured Snay said...

I hope, when he's getting raped in prison, the other prisoners appreciate his cleanliness.