Thursday, March 23, 2006

Off the Record

Did you know? We do have a second daily newspaper in Baltimore, but no no one reads it. The The Economist should buy it and make me publisher. Here's Daniel Ostrovsky excerpted liberally from today's TDR: "Officer Next Door" seeks $20M after home search
"In a $20 million lawsuit, a Baltimore police officer claims at least four of his fellow officers used a search warrant obtained with a perjured affidavit to burst into his home and hold him and his wife at gunpoint. Officer Michael Callands and his wife claim a police officer falsely accused them of dealing drugs out of this Spelman Road home, where they were living as part of the federally funded 'Officer Next Door' crime deterrence program. Finding no narcotics, the four defendants scouted the neighborhood for drugs and paraphernalia and then attributed those drugs to Officer Michael Callands and his wife, the suit alleges. According to the complaint filed in Baltimore City Circuit Court, Michael and Margaret Callands moved into the Spelman Road home in Brooklyn as part of the federally funded "Officer Next Door" program, which provides financial incentives for law enforcement officers to live in high-crime areas.

"They made up a search and seizure warrant and when they realized it was a cop's house they were like, 'Oh my God, we messed up,' said Timothy M. Dixon, an attorney for Michael and Margaret Callands along with his law partner, Neal M. Janey Jr... In an affidavit filed to support a search and seizure warrant, the pleadings state, Detective Cassidy Kampfhammer falsely stated that she bought drugs at 2833 Spelman Road. At the time, she did not know it was the home of a police officer. On March 25, 2005, Kampfhammer and Officers Joseph Donato, Francis Ebberts Jr. and others executed the warrant, "destroying [the Callands'] front door." Because the officers had no uniforms or identification, Michael Callands assumed they were burglars and he drew his service weapon as he left the bedroom, the complaint alleges. Michael Callands eventually realized what was taking place and surrendered his gun, but was nonetheless thrown into a glass table by the police officers...When Margaret Callands came downstairs to check on her husband Kampfhammer and the other officers pointed their guns at her, told her to get on the floor and handcuffed her.

"The suit says no drugs were found during the search. When the officers learned they had entered the home of a colleague, Dixon and Janey said yesterday, Kampfhammer called her husband, Lt. Sean Kampfhammer, who soon arrived at the house.
The two 'collectively contrived a plan to plant illegal drugs' to 'cover-up [sic] the fabrication in the affidavit of the search and seizure warrant"... "The officers canvassed the neighborhood for drugs, then told the department's Internal Affairs Division that those drugs belonged to the Callands.Dixon and Janey said an investigation by that division exonerated their client of any misconduct." .... "A false report about the Callands' was also made to the Housing Authority of Baltimore City. As a result of that report, the Callands no longer reside in the Spelman Road home" ... "Cassidy Kampfhammer and Donato serve in the Southern District, Ebberts serves in the narcotics section of the organized crime division and Sean Kampfhammer is with a special enforcement unit. All are listed as defendants in the suit."

Fesity, feisty

Statement of State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy regarding the City Council Budget and Appropriations Committee approval of $1.9 million in city funding for FY'2006 [emphasis ed.]:

I am pleased that the Budget Committee chaired by Councilwoman Blake has approved critical funding that provides immediate relief for the loss of expired federal and state grant positions and continued prosecution of criminal cases in Baltimore. I am hopeful that the full Council will approve the funding with equal fervor.

Our citizens support the necessity of this funding. They recognize that funding the State's Attorney's Office at an adequate level is in the best interest of public safety.

As an elected prosecutor managing an independent office, I will not submit to a management audit of the State's Attorney's Office by the City Council. The City Council continues to insinuate and insist that they have the authority to require such an audit. This is not negotiable, and I have publicly stated my position on this several times. The State's Attorney's Office is an independent office and the Council has no authority to review management practices. This will remain my position on this matter.

I do recognize that the City Council has responsibility for fiscal oversight and I operate a transparent office. The city auditor has the authority to conduct an audit on any fiscal matter related to office operations and is welcome to do so at any time. The State's Attorney's Office remains committed to providing the Council with information requested in a timely manner, and is interested in keeping the Council and citizens informed regarding activities of the State's Attorney's Office.

March 23

Late yesterday afternoon a Baltimore City jury convicted Emanuel Young, 27, of the 800 block of Avondale Road, of second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and handgun counts. Judge Paul Alpert scheduled sentencing for April 14, 2006. On April 13, 2003 Young murdered Marcus Gordon, 20, in the 3000 block of Oakley Avenue. A second victim was also wounded in that shooting.

At a hearing late yesterday afternoon, Julius Freeman, 20, of the 2300 block of Cloville Road, pled guilty to second-degree murder and got 20 years. On May 19, 2005 Freeman was arguing with his girlfriend in the 5600 block of Laurelton Avenue when the victim, Darrell Holland, II, 21, was walking by. Freeman pulled out a 9 MM handgun and shot Holland once in the chest.

A man was shot in the head in the South Baltimore near 295.

Eze Rankin Inyama, 34, is accused of impersonating a pharmacist and selling Xanax and Clonodine without a prescription.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

March 22

Ink: There were three murders last week, of Kacife Parker, Kiam Moody and Aaron Godbolt, and at least one justified homicide (this is the first time the Ink has covered one of those, wonder if that'll be a new thing). The Sun covered them all!

'BAL's got another "WTF?!?!" story: Winnie Watts, a city auxiliary police officer (whatever that is), says city police came into her house without a warrant, refused to give badge numbers, arrested her 15-year-old son for loitering on his own porch and charged her daughter with disturbing the peace.

Blotter: Patrick Byers, 20, was arrested for the murder of Larry Haynes. Kenneth Oakley, 20, was arrested for attempted murder, as was Lenise Edmonds, 23, the year's first female attempted-murder suspect, accused of shooting Monica McCante, 35.

A man who was not Dre was shot in the leg on Montpelier Street. Someone fired five shots through the windows of a house in Waverly. Also three men fired four or five shots at a woman's house on Sheridan Avenue.

Van Smith dares a suspect's wife to sue him in the story of the arraignment of Anthony Jerome Miller for the double murders of Jason Convertino, 31, and Sean Wisniewski, 22, the so-called "Redwood Trust" killings.

CP: there were four drug overdose deaths in MD prisons last year.

In AAC, sixteen-year-old Deante Littlejohn of Severn was indicted for first-degree murder for shooting Keisha Lane, 15, of Hagerstown.

The State plans to seek the death penalty in the case of Brandon Morris, who shot prison guard Jeffery Wroten.

The driver of a stolen Ford Focus was injured when he crashed the car at Calvert and 23rd street.

Paunchy pitcher Sidney Ponson had the last charge against him, knowingly making a false statement on a Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration application, dropped. (Puzzling: "prosecutors said they could not prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.")

The claim: Monumental Life Insuarance Co. paid $25k to Maryland to settle claims of race-based policy pricing. Republicans gave the money to certain charities, which in turn donated an 18 percent "tip" to Steele's campaign.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

March 21

James Earl Murphy, 30, was indicted for contempt of court for his refusal to testify in a murder trial. Murphy and Martin Morgan, 18, were indicted for the murder of Wade Walker on March 12, 2004. In January of last year, Murphy pled guilty to second-degree murder and received a 30-year sentence from Judge David Mitchell. On February 3, Murphy refused to testify in Morgan's trial and was held in Direct Contempt of Court by Judge Shirley Watts. Nevertheless, the jury convicted Morgan of first-degree murder and he will be sentenced next week. Murphy is scheduled for arraignment on April 20 before Judge Welch.

The trial of officers King and Murray grinds on. Sounds like the pair was sleazy and lazy: "King told [the informant] that the officers didn't want information about ... young people who would be apt to run from the detectives and require a chase."

Blotter: A woman was shot in the chest by her fiancee and lived. James Best, who was arrested and charged with attempted murder. Two men were arrested for attempted murder and armed robbery in the northeastern. The man shot near Reisterstown Road was identified as Aaron Godbolt, 23.

Sisters are doing it for themselves: robbing sick and old people, that is.

The Mars grocery store in Reisterstown was robbed.

Kenneth Hankins, a big greasy-looking fat guy, flashed a boy and a girl at Glen Ridge apartments in Glen Burnie.

MattCStoffelGreg Raymond, former JHU lax Blue Jay and now the assistant men's coach at Princeton, pled guilty on February 10 to Driving Under the Influence as a result of the gory drunk-driving accident that killed his friend Matthew "Stoff" Stoffel (left) Dec. 11. He will be sentenced Thursday the 23rd at 2 p.m. at Wabash district court. He faces a maximum penalty of one-year in jail and/or $1,000 fine. Some excerpts from the charging documents:
Officers recieved a call to respond ... the accident was located at I83 North and the Charles Street Bridge ... officers found a green/black Jeep Sahara on the right shoulder with damage to the same ... found the driver a Mr. Gregory P. Raymond in the driver seat holding/stabilizing the passenger a Mr. Matthew C. Stoffel. The passenger had a pole impaled to his face through his mouth and throat area. The pole was approx. 3 feet in length. The pole extend (sic) through the windshield. Mr. Raymond stated that they had been drinking... that he had five beers and two shots. Raymond also stated that he was not the driver of the Jeep ... later he recanted ... Raymond agreed to take the brethilizer test. Mr. Raymond blew a .20 ....
So boozehounds, take note: contrary to what I thought, driving drunk and killing someone is not enough to be charged with vehicular manslaughter. Said my source, "you ALSO need more negligence, such as reckless driving, speeding, etc IN ADDITION to the drinking. And that evidence was not there, hence the decision to not go forward. Also, the victim's family's wishes were also taken into consideration."

Speaking of drunks, students at Towson U. are fighting for their right to party... "your out of you mind if you think banning (college) nights would help anyone." Meanwhile, the JHU News-Letter bemoans that the school can't stop CV residents from calling the police with noise complaints.

Monday, March 20, 2006

March 20

Charles Knott, the guy who beat the other guy to death with a cane in front of schoolchildren on 36th street September 16 of last year, pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter last Monday. He will be sentenced May 15.

A man was shot to death Saturday night near Reisterstown road, south of Pimlico and north of Coldspring.

Malbon Bolden Jr. of Glenmont (near Towson) allegedly beat his girlfriend to death in a Rhode Island Motel 6.
[login: pwd: connor]

Police are seeking a third suspect in the case of the Waverly pot patch. There were also two busts for the drogas blancas.

International insurance co. Zurich will pay about $2.8 million to Maryland companies after allegations of price-fixing and bid-rigging.

Hagerstown inmate Delreece Headspeth got 23 years added to his life sentence for shanking another inmate.

In Crisfield, two 12-year-olds were charged with arson.

Dept of Disheartening Statstics: for Baltimore city's black men, "finishing high school is the exception, legal work is scarcer than ever and prison is almost routine." Baltimore's also featured in the video, which will be running on the Discovery Channel in perpetuity. (Pennsylvania avenue is in the NW between Mondawmin mall and North Avenue).

Scary stat: every month in Baltimore an average 795 ex-offenders get out of jail.