Saturday, May 19, 2007

May 19

Apparently, nobody told some bad people from "Baltimore B" that they're not supposed to commit crimes against good people from "Baltimore A."

Three teenage boys robbed a 60-year-old man of $15.50.

Police were called to the old Relax Inn (now the Red Carpet Inn) on Reisterstown Rd. 120 times in 2005 and about 100 times in 2006.

Somebody stole two guns from a member of the Frederick SWAT team.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Maurice A. Johnson, 29, was shot to death in Randallstown.

Lawyers for the killer of correctional officer Jeffery A. Wroten plan to argue that the death penalty isn't legal because of MD's effed-up execution instructions.

What the?! Two Morgan State University students persuaded a friend to shoot them with a .38 "because they hoped to avoid pledging a fraternity this summer," even though they didn't have the GPA to pledge anyway. Huh? Wha? And it gets weirder: they're from out of state and "wanted to stay in Baltimore for the summer." (They must be from Camden!)

More than 12 years for PGC coke dealer Richard D. Briscoe, and RJR's got plenty of time for his gun-toting crack-dealing pals as well.

two pervsCounty police are ISO two homeless sex offenders, Ronald Ellison, 28, and Thomas Gauthier, 27.
If you're wondering what the degrees of sex offense are, here's a handy chart.

More school threats: this time a letter threatening to harm students was sent to C. Milton Wright High School in Harford County.

AAC: Greg Karanzalis, an assistant coach for the Broadneck High School lacrosse team, was caught on tape buying alcohol for several students who got so soused after school that they needed to be hospitalized.

White-Collar Corner
Perps 12 and 13, Stephen Weissenberger of Towson and Ashita Patel of Columbia, were indicted on theft and bribery charges for defrauding our school system.

The National Community Reinvestment Coalition has filed a lawsuit against NovaStar Mortgage, accusing them of discrimination for refusing to offer mortgages on rowhouses in downtown Baltimore (among other places).

Mark Kaiser of U.S. Foodservice got seven federal years for an $800-million accounting fraud.

Patrick McDevitt of Timonium is headed to the can for 2 1/2 years after submitting false expense claims to his employer. He bought at least a dozen Rolex watches (and no doubt other tacky crap), but the jig was up after he commited eBay fraud.

Ellicott City art-gallery owner Thomas Hugh Akins, 52, pled guilty to wire fraud for an art-based investment scheme that screwed some more-money-than-brains "affluent acquaintances" out of $1.2 million.

May 18

El Janis: "Hamm admits to police overtime abuse"

Robert Perlie, 16, was ID'd as the victim who died at 2:36 yesterday morning of a gunshot wound to the head on the 200 block of N. Dallas Court.

Carroll Hugh Bell, 51, of Philadelphia, was arrested Wednesday by Philadelphia police and charged with the 1990 rape and murder of Beverly Dixon.
Puzzling sentence o the day: "A man was reported in good condition at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center after he was shot in the face"
A 19-year-old was shot in the arm on E. 27th street
and what is the deal with gunmen yelling "kick it out"?

"A 28-year-old man was seriously wounded in a shooting early this morning near the corner of Greenmount Avenue and East 29th Street, Baltimore police said."

More on the Jemini Jones conviction.

The gov. vetoed two crime-related bills Wednesday: the drug-dealer parole thing and also one that would let the police sell guns back to manufacturers.

PGC women are advised to gird their loins "after two recent sexual assaults and an armed robbery occurred within days and a few miles of each other."

Thursday, May 17, 2007


From the SA's office:
  • A Baltimore City jury convicted Ronald Sparkman, 21, of the 1500 block of E. Madison St., of three counts of first-degree murder and use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence today following two days of testimony and more than four hours of deliberations. Sparkman faces a maximum possible prison term of life plus 20 years in prison when sentenced by Judge M. Brooke Murdock July 3, 2007. Details:
    On January 14, 2005 at approximately 10PM officers were called to the 1600 block of E. Madison St. for a serious shooting. The victim, Ralph “West” Pritchett, was found lying face down in the street. He died at Johns Hopkins Hospital which was a few blocks away. The investigation revealed that Ronald Sparkman shot the victim five times in the back over a drug dispute. The trial lasted two days and the jury deliberated approximately 4 hours before reaching its guilty verdict. Sparkman remains held without bail at the Baltimore City Detention Center. Assistant State's Attorney Brian M. Fish prosecuted the case.

  • In a hearing today Judge John Carroll Byrnes found Jemini Jones, 29, of the 4700 block of Ivanhoe Avenue, guilty of wear/carry/transport a handgun in a vehicle and fleeing and eluding police after a statement of facts was placed on the record by the prosecutor. Judge Byrnes sentenced Jones to a three year suspended prison term and three years probation for the handgun count and a concurrent one year suspended prison term, three years probation and a $1,000 fine for the fleeing and eluding count. Details:
    On October 1, 2006 Jones ran a red light at the intersection of East 33rd St. and Frisby St. Police attempted to stop the vehicle Jones was driving. The vehicle did not stop. Police followed the vehicle at a high rate of speed and it eventually stopped in an alley off the 800 block of East 34th St. Police recovered a handgun from the vehicle. Jones' right to carry a handgun had been suspended. Assistant State's Attorney Doug Ludwig, Chief of the Firearms Investigation Violence Enforcement (FIVE) Division, prosecuted this case.
  • A Baltimore City jury convicted Gregory Kearney, 24, of the 2200 block of Homewood Avenue, May 14, 2007 of possession of a regulated firearm after a disqualifying conviction and handgun on person. Judge Joseph H.H. Kaplan sentenced Kearney to five years without parole for the first count and a concurrent three year prison term for the second count. The facts:
    On August 8, 2006 police officers were on patrol in the area of the 1700 block of Aisquith Street when they observed Gregory Kearney in the area. The police officers know the area to be one of high drug activity. People in the area alerted others to police presence including Gregory Kearney. Kearney started walking out of the area and was observed holding a small handgun by the police. Gregory Kearney then threw the handgun and started to run. Police officers recovered a .32 caliber revolver and arrested him. Assistant State's Attorney David M. Grzechowiak of the Firearms Investigation Violence Enforcement (FIVE) Division prosecuted this case.

May 17

Another murder early this morning in the Dunbar-Broadway neighborhood in East Baltimore, and last night's murder victim was ID'd as Earl Sonny Cornish III.

Wow, a teeny fleck of hope ... City Council Vice President Robert W. Curran is trying to stop the killing with a bill that calls for "heightened police enforcement" in "declared emergency areas," a proposal based on Philadelphia's successful plan.
The mayor's response was "lukewarm."

SA's office: Police Officer Jemini Jones is being qualified to plea (as in, agreeing to certain facts presented to the Court by the State, asserting that his plea is both knowing and voluntary and that he knows his rights, right to trial, right to confront etc.) on the handgun violation indictment.

In Baltimore County, three people were shot outside of Coco's Bar and Grill early this morning, and one man was shot in the first block of Dundalk Ave. In recent city shootings, a man was shot on Wednesday morning while cutting through the Clifton Park golf course, and a 43-year-old man was shot in the Southeastern "for no apparent reason."

Two homicide ID's in the Blotter, one erroneous (second link above): 30-year-old Nathaniel Hicks was killed on Monday morning in the 2500 block of Garrett Ave., and 19-year-old Deandre Salmond (not "Almond") was fatally shot in the head in the 500 block of S. Smallwood St. on Tuesday night.

Howard High School counselor Alan Silberman was arrested and charged after HoCo police found crack in his car.

The Wachovia Bank on Merritt Ave. in Dundalk was robbed by a man who stuck his hand in his shirt. Police are seeking a mustachioed white man with a penchant for colorful stripes.

The house where Antown Arthur, Nathan Gulliver, and Steven Matthews were murdered in 2005 caught on fire on Tuesday.

Gross incompetence at the Maryland Division of Corrections led to alleged murderer James Burton's release and subsequent re-arrest on "escape" charges.

It took less than four hours for a BaltCo jury to sentence Gaumer to life in prison.

The death of Rey Rivera remains a mystery.

A vandal in Parkville seems to think that racism = peace.

Crime tip of the day: If you get hit with paying a customer $17,000 that you stole from him, don't try to get the money by threatening your local bank manager.

Crime tip of the day, #2: If you're going to flee the scene of an accident, make sure your license plate number isn't embedded in the filth of the car that you hit.

The demolition of 30 apartment buildings in Hillbilly Heights began this morning.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


A not-yet-ID'd man was shot to death on York Road and Chateau Avenue.

Deander Salmond, 19, died after being shot in the Southwestern Tuesday night.

The jury has sentenced John Gaumer to life in prison.

Inventor Paul Biermann at Hopkins' Applied Physics Laboratory in HoCo is trying to invent shank-proof prison toiletries.

(Alleged) perv of the day: Patrick McIntyre, a seventh-grade science teacher at Immaculate Conception School, removed from his job following allegations that he sexually abused a male student in the late 1970s.

Media Corner:
Staffers rallied on Calvert Street today to "Save our Sun!"
Quoted copy editor: "We’re working hard to bring readers the best news we can ... But the more they drain our staff of talent, the less of a good job we’ll be able to do.”
The Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild today began attempts to negotiate a new contract with management, and has also hired a PR firm to "represent its viewpoint to the media."

Sixty Years (Again) for Alleged Child-Killer Erik Stoddard

From the SA's office (edited for style):

Today Judge Allen L. Schwait sentenced Erik Stoddard, 26, of the 2500 block of Moore Avenue, to 60 years in prison; 30 years for second degree murder and 30 years for child abuse resulting in death with the terms to run consecutively. Judge Schwait sentenced Stoddard after denying a defense motion for a new trial for the March 9, 2007 second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death conviction.

A Baltimore City jury convicted Stoddard March 13, 2003 of second-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death for the death of Calen Faith Dirubbo, age three, and Stoddard began serving a 60-year prison term. On December 8, 2005 the Maryland Court of Appeals vacated Stoddard's conviction, citing evidentiary issues regarding hearsay testimony. The mother of an 18-month-old child who witnessed the murder testified how the surviving child now acts and that the child asked, "Is Erik going to get me?" These statements were not used by prosecutors in the second trial.

On June 15, 2002 Dirubbo was pronounced dead at her home, where she lived with her mother and Stoddard. Dirubbo died as a result of multiple beatings over a period of at least a month; the fatal blow occurred June 15, 2002 and severed her bowel. The State proved through detailed medical evidence that Stoddard was the only person who had custody of Dirubbo when the fatal blow occurred.

Defense counsel argued the trial court erred by not asking a requested voir dire question as to whether any member of the jury panel was prejudiced against the defendant based on his race. The defendant, all State's witnesses, all lawyers in the case and the judge were white. The jury consisted of both whites and African-Americans.

After lengthy oral argument, during which the defendant was briefly removed from the courtroom due to his inappropriate behavior, Judge Schwait denied the motion and proceed to sentencing.

The maternal grandmother and aunt of victim Calen Dirubbo gave victim impact statements. The grandmother described to Judge Schwait
"the pain and anguish of ...knowing Calen suffered and died alone...her right to life brutally taken from her... robbing the family of watching her grow....creating a severe strain on family." She spoke of the defendant's violent behavior as "doling out destruction and pain...assaulting numerous women and finally murdering my three-year old granddaughter," and said Erik “has a human compassion, conscience or remorse.”
The maternal aunt of Calen stated,
"the pain and grief is immeasurable...daily I struggle with the pain and destruction left behind.... I am haunted by the 'wonders'...I wonder what she would look like now...wonder what kind of child would she be today?"
A letter submitted to the Judge by the brother of Calen stated
"I remember Erik slamming us against the wall...when he gave us a bath dunking us under the water....I wish Erik would be in jail forever."
While rendering his sentence, Judge Schwait stated, in part, that "he wished he could give the defendant more time." Stoddard concluded his remarks by expressing the belief that his convictions would be overturned (again), and said to the family of the victim "see you in a couple years."

A Baltimore City jury convicted Stoddard March 9, 2007 of second degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, second degree assault and first and second degree child abuse resulting in death. Prosecutors proceeded with a new trial after the Court of Appeals vacated Stoddard's 2003 conviction.

May 16

In the Blotter: a homeless woman was shot on S. Hilton Street.

Zachary James, one of the city's "youngest and most brazen murder suspects," pled guilty and will serve 60 years, 10 without the possibility of parole, for the murders of 34-year-old Richard Smith and 32-year-old Michael Freeman.

Gaumer begged for his life and apologized to Josie Brown's family.
Here's a link posted a long time back about the case on Huff's Crime Blog, which includes comments from more than one woman he dated after he murdered Josie Brown.

Pretrail motions in the Jemini Jones gun-possession case began this morning before Judge John Carroll Byrnes.

Terrell Heath, 31, was killed by a police taser, the "second in [the] city in a month related to stun guns."

Ditkoff: "For the second week in a row Baltimore City has more homicides than days. This is the fourth week this year with eight or more homicides." Todd Little, Antwoine Hawkins, Gerald Wilson, William Curtis, Michael Davis, Thomas Mouzon Jr., and the murder heard by our reader on 25th street was ID'd as Deandre Hatcher, age 17. And updates!

Jezum crow! Ms. Ditkoff lightly grills the city council president on the details of the vaxingly vague noise bill and gets beyond-idiotic answers. Good gravy, if you had a private-sector job and tried to pass answers like this over on your bosses .... ("How significant a problem is noise in the city?" "I don't know the exact number..." "Who would make the decision that someone is being too loud?" "We're still working that out.") If you voted for her ever, please kick yourself in the nuts right now.

And more CP: Tenant "Willing to Fight a Million-Dollar Libel Suit For His Right to Call His Landlord a Crook"

cop muralDog-walker Katie Wainwright reports that eight cops from the Southern spent a half-hour ticketing owners of unleashed dogs in in Riverside Park.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Cleared cop Jemini Jones with five cronies in two not-very-unmarked cars clogging the parking lot at Joe's Bike Shop on Falls Road around 5 p.m. Inside Jemini checked out a $1700 model but left without a purchase, followed by a car (#1903) which, rather than waiting to turn out of the shop, swicthed on the siren and the lights to turn South, then swerved across the double-yellow lines on the Falls Road blind hill.

May 15

What the?! Says the Examiner, the city police "logged more than 1.5 million hours of overtime in 2006, spending nearly $37 million in the process, after budgeting $7 million."
Councilman Ken Harris: "Based on the crime statistics, I do not think the return matched the investment."

The victim found shot to death May 2 [#98] in a vacant house in the 2200 block of Barclay St. was ID'd as 18-year-old Derius Harmon, 18, of Randallstown.

John Gaumer's family begged for his life yesterday.

Murder, attempted murder and robbery arrests and stolen Red Bull in the Dick Irwin special.

Homicide detectives are catching flak for playing golf.

New BS PR poll: Baltimore's in 15th place for road rage. (Or 15th in answering BS poll questions from strangers on the phone.)

Dept. of "Why Bother?": A week after a reader passed the story along, WBAL-tv reports that Ridgely's Delight resident Rekha Thomas was shot through her front door during an attempted home invasion.

The UMMC wudhu-lawsuit story just won't go away. Now Dr. Mohammed Hussain has filed criminal charges against the security guard who "allegedly manhandled and humiliated him before his scheduled surgery."

In the Post's MD briefing: two PGC men, Sean A. Simpson, 24, of Suitland, and Norberto Quinones, 24, of Upper Marlboro were sentenced to (federal) life in prison. Simpson was convicted of two carjackings, a murder and a nonfatal shooting; Quinones of possession with intent to distribute cocaine base and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.

Univision theorizes that missing mom Deysi M. Benitez left Frederick with a friend.

The Gov. is considering an increase in the state's gasoline tax. Political genius, this guy.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Dispatches from the East Side....

... tales of sweet dreams and knocked-off brains above, and below, they've got "Cheryl," "Betsy" and "Ready."

Closing arguments are set for tomorrow in the trial of airman Calvin Hill, accused of killing servicewoman Ashley Turner of Frederick, MD in Iceland.

What is the deal with the I-270? Now police are interviewing witnesses after Montgomery County Police Officer Alanna Ward and her son were sent to the hospital as the result of a road rage incident. This comes less than a month after a couple was killed after being menaced by a pickup truck on the same highway to hell.

Two drug-sniffing dogs are missing from a kennel in East Baltimore; they were last seen humping legs for spare change behind the Falls Road Rite Aid.

Letter to the Editor

In which reader "Sherry" tries to be helpful, gets blowoff:
... regarding your post: from May 10: "A man was shot to death this morning in the 300 block of 23 1/2 Street in Barclay"... well, I heard these gunshots - I live on the 300 block of 25th. A light sleeper, I was jolted by the shots that sounded just as if they were outside of my window. I froze - shocked a bit...I've heard shots in the distance before, but none so close. Anyhow, what seemed like only seconds later, I heard a car ignition start and a car take off. This I am pretty sure was right on 25th. It was 4:07 am by my clock and I jumped out of bed to see if anyone was laying on the ground. I saw nothing. Sitting and not sure what to do...I then heard the sirens - cops, ambulance - the normal. Someone else had called - and after tossing and turning I finally fell asleeps again.

Thursday evening I was reading the Sun and that blurb you linked to on the Sun - and said Ah-ha!! - plus, it kept bothering me and I realized - hey - there's a police camera half way up the block...I'll call 311 for non emergency police issues...I made the call...explaining what I heard - disclaiming it might have been a coincidence, but maybe someone should check the camera since I doubt anyone else might have reported that or whatever -in any case, I got the big 311 blowoff. I may as well have been talking to a recording. The response seemed like a scripted: "M'am, I'm sure the police have investigators on the case and are going door to door." And that was it! Done...I was rather irritated. No one had come to my door.

The next day...I still couldn't shake my irritation. I called the actual police precinct - who referred me to homicide. Called them - and got a whole different reception for my tip. They were actually appreciative and actually asked me the location of the camera and it happens to be just about across from that alley. Anyhow, whether they followup is another story...but I just
wanted to vent. What a mess this system is...not that you didn't already know that. This small and limited experience I had really brought that home for me.
"Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) said yesterday that he will probably veto a bill that would make twice-convicted drug dealers eligible for parole, calling drug dealing a 'violent crime' that should be severely punished."

Good guideline for would-be gamblers: "Anyone that runs a game 3 nights a week, promotes it publicly, and has topless dealers is asking to be busted."

Fredneck Chad Abshire harassed police dog, bit cop.

Court of Appeals: Funky monkeys Oogie, Angel, Coco, Squeaky and Zoey can stay in HoCo.

May 14

An unidentified man was shot and killed in the 2500 block of Garrett Ave. in East Baltimore Midway early this morning, the second murder in that neighborhood within 48 hours. The same article reports that Gerald Lamont Wilson was identified as the man who was killed on N. Chester St. on Friday night, and the death of Todd Little has been officially added to the year's murder count.

Five children and two adults were injured in a PG County drive-by on Saturday afternoon. An abandoned car and high-powered rifle that police believe were used in the attack have been found.

A man was asked the time and robbed at knifepoint in the Western.

Convicted murderer Charles Eugene Burns is now facing a trial for assaulting six Harford County prostitutes.

Justin Hannah was indicted for his role in a drive-by shooting that targeted his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend and an 18-year-old man.

Shooting victim and former Blood Darren Williams is trying to help the city with the Precision Youth Power Program.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Bread Question

ne volez pas ce pain!We (actually, our Philosophy prof freshman year of college) posed this poll question a long time ago:
Is stealing bread to feed your starving family wrong?
We thought the answer would be obvious: of course it is. All wrongs aren't equal, but a justifiable wrong is still a wrong, right?
Surprisingly not! The majority of readers (60 percent) said no, as did the expert we consulted, Rabbi Alan Yuter of the B'nai Israel Congregation on the West side. (We also put in calls to the Maryland Catholic Conference and the Islamic Center of Maryland, but Rabbi Yuter was the only one to return the call!) Said the rabbi,
"I can’t give a straight answer because every case is different. In Jewish law we distinguish between assaults on person and assaults on property. Stealing is not generally an option, but you’re allowed to commit a minor sin to avoid suicide. We believe that life is more important than property, but you can’t give a formulaic answer in my view."
The best answer, though, has got to be the one (maybe) doled out by Fiorello La Guardia ... the law makes no exceptions, but we should all be fined for living in such a crapulent society.

Three More Murders

Sun's Laura McCandlish: "An officer on patrol found the body of [Antoine Deshawn Hawkins] in the 2200 block of Robb St. about 1 a.m. yesterday ... [he] had been shot several times and was pronounced dead at the scene ... A second male homicide victim was pronounced dead at Johns Hopkins Hospital ... in the 900 block of N. Chester St. in East Baltimore ... The third male victim, who was not identified, was found dead in bed at his home in the 1700 block of S. Dallas St. in East Baltimore about 10 a.m. yesterday." And in another incident, "at least three men opened fire on a woman who was in front of a vacant house in the first block of S. Hilton St. in West Baltimore."