Saturday, October 6, 2007

October 6

A murder in the Northwest (no word anywhere on who, where, what time) ended a an entire week without a murder.
Is some new method working, or was it happenstance... or was it The Bealefeld Effect?

More good* news, on Orleans Street last night, an officer shot and wounded a suspect who was firing at another man, probably preventing a homicide. (*wounding is good news if death is the only other option, right?)

"A 24-year-old man who was shot last week was shot a second time about 3 a.m. Thursday while walking down a street in West Baltimore."
Plus a date rape in the Blotter.
(Ed: It would be an interesting project to compare the various crimes on the police map vs. the ones in the Blotter to come up with a percentage of what the Blotter covers. I'll bet with robberies it's like, 1/500th)

Vandals broke into Armistead Gardens Elementary School two nights in a row.

Our carjack-victim readers will be happy to hear that one 19-year-old Calvin Williams got more than 12 years for his role in two NW thefts.

Charles Brockington, the guy who shot the guy over car rims, is free.

In the week following Bealefeld's appointment, various leaders voiced their good cheer and fond wishes. Everyone, that is, but "Doc" Cheatham, who made certain to register his regret about the Commissioner's oystery complexion and suspect heritage in the local tabloid before setting his sights upon Carroll County, where his dear friend the Reverend Al Sharpton was planning to attend a rally to demand that criminal civil rights charges be brought against six detention-school employees who had been implicated the death of Isaiah Simmons III, crushed to unconsciousness one chaotic night at the now-closed Taneytown Bowling Brook Preparatory school.

Fun stats:
Ratio of Baltimore City residents to # of sex offenders: 396 to 1.
Ratio in Taneytown: 218 to 1

A source reports four more t-shirt boys arrested in Hampden, cuffed & sitting on the curb on 36th street yesterday afternoon. Book 'em Kramer!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Tidell Harris' Killers get Three Lifetimes

At a sentencing hearing today Judge Robert Kershaw sentenced Elliott McClain, 31, of the 5200 block of St. Charles Ave. to two consecutive life prison terms plus a consecutive 25 years. A City jury convicted him July 27, 2007 of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and handgun counts. Today’s sentence in the maximum amount of prison time Judge Kershaw could have imposed.
On June 1, 2004 at approximately 1:00 a.m. in the 600 block of Hazel Street, McClain and co-defendant Kevin Fletcher approach the victim, Tidell Harris, on the street. They each pulled a gun. Fifteen shots were fired and Harris is hit five times, twice in the chest and three in the face and head and is pronounced dead at the scene.

Fletcher confessed and had a plea deal (life, suspend all but 25 years in prison) in which he was to testify against McClain. However, he refused to testify in January when called to the stand during a pretrial motions hearing, and Judge John M. Glynn sentenced Fletcher to life in prison plus 20 years. Fletcher and his mother had contact with McClain while awaiting trial and Fletcher requested protective custody at the Baltimore City Detention Center. Fletcher did testify in McClain’s trial but his court testimony was inconsistent with his taped police confession, which was played in court. Authorities have not located Fletcher’s mother.
Assistant State’s Attorney Tonya LaPolla of the FIVE Division prosecuted this case.
-- ASA's office

October 5

Is it possible that we'll have had no murders in a whole week?
The last was 24-year-old Jason Fortune.

The Sun has Bealefeld video:
"I haven't signed a contract. I haven't even seen such a document yet. You might find that hard to believe." Not really!
He also discloses his salary ($120,000 + $8 a day), says "I'm not ashamed to say I've taken something from [Commissioner Norris]."
So far so good!
If you can't get enough of that Bealefeld stuff, WBAL has a heckofalotta audio.

QtD: "Incidents are going to happen, but that happens at any bar or tavern." -- bar manager Omar Smith, whose establishment racked up incidents of mice, roaches, underage drinking, violating a health department order, a drug-dealing manager, three murders in two years and a broken-bottle assault before the liquor board revoked the Top Shelf's Liquor license

Wow, today is almost all good news!
I declare Friday October 5 the City's best news day of the whole year!

Even the Blotter is sedate! A carjacking, but it was in Cockeysville!

Aren't you glad you don't live in the county?

In HoCo, a crazy cat lady must pay $10k in restitution.

In Charles County, a 71-year-old man, Joseph Gilford Hickman, was shot dead on the porch of his townhouse.

MoCo's got a widening scandal, officers charged with double-dipping: 10 officers who allegedly took freelance jobs while still on the clock with the county. Four face felony charges, and six have pleaded guilty to misconduct so far.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Teens Trussed in Playground Bust!

Spotted at about 3:30 p.m.: seven white t-shirt teenagers getting busted at the playground in the 3400 block of Elm Avenue in Hampden.

October 4

Elliott McClain, 31, was sentenced yesterday to two life sentences plus 25 years in prison for the murder of Tidell Harris, 23, on Hazel Street in Curtis Bay in 2004.

Broadwater has the September murder roundup.
"said University of Baltimore criminologist Jeffrey Ian Ross, 'obviously, there’s a disconnect and there’s a failure in the criminal justice system.'"
This suspended-sentence nonsense does seem to be a huge problem-- why do we allow suspended sentences, and what would it take to make judges cut that shit out?

The fine print: An adult male was listed in serious but stable condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center after he was shot in the face about 2 p.m. yesterday in the 2400 block of Wilkens Ave.; a man was stabbed in the 1700 block of Cherry Hill Road about 8 p.m. Monday; in Essex police are seeking a gunman who forced his way into a house in the 1200 block of Punjab Drive about 1:20 a.m. Tuesday and chased a man, 18, and a woman, 21, throughout the dwelling while firing a gun.

In spite of a front-page Washington Post story refuting the proliferation of human trafficking, Jessamy's holding a press conference to announce she and Gansler are launching a task force to tackle the non-problem.

Rumors Squashed: There was no, I repeat, no murder in Hampden yesterday! There was, apparently, some blood-like viscous liquid found in front of the Golden West Cafe on 36th street. This somehow spiraled into a rumor about some kind of thrill-kill gang/ serial vigilante going around shanking druggies! Not true-- no battered corpse has been found in Hampden for almost an entire two weeks (that we know of).
But thanks for writing, tipsters!

It's Official!

bealefeldAfter letting the city go 76 days without a Police Commissioner and making some noise about DC's Charles Ramsey (apparently the only other candidate), the mayor has appointed Frederick H. Bealefeld III to the job.
Pretending to agree with her cockamamie gun registry plan must have been the final test!
Now let's hope he gets to rounding up some officers and lets that dog of a notion crawl off to die a quiet death!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


WMAR has video of Stephen Gayer being taken away by the Feds while neighbors jeer. ("We're not clear yet why the FBI was involved with this arrest." That's because taking lurid pictures of naked little girls is a federal crime, Jenny!)

And yesterday, Matthew Justin Perry, 28, of Edgewood, Maryland, pled guilty to receipt of child pornography. Roddy J. locks perverts away!

..and smack dealers! Javon Brewer, age 26, got 198 months for peddling "Chocolate City" and "Hypnotic" brands.

NYT: "For Baltimore, Housing Slump Slows a Revival"

Public Art

90 days in Waverly

Bealefeld, Frederick H. III, and Dixon, Sheila, "90 Days in Waverly," 2007
Gift of the John Galt Collection
BCR 2007.1480360728


In a major ballkick to the State's Attorney's office, a Baltimore jury today acquitted the owners of a city bail bond company who were being tried on obstruction of justice and perjury charges after only 90 minutes of deliberations on 21 counts following two weeks of testimony.
Rumor has it that 4 Aces Bail Bonds is a front for one of BMore's largest drug organizations.

VJayJay Day

Compare coverage of the Roland Park rape (Four stories in the Sun, six in the Examiner) with the 80 words given to a rape in the SE.
(Or, for that matter, the extended coverage of the stolen tomato.)

The Court of Appeals is trying to decide whether consensual sex can become rape if a woman says no in the middle of the act.

WYPR: Martha's Place, a drug recovery house for women, is "changing lives in one drug-infested Baltimore community."

Perv of the Day: Stephen Gayer of Parkville, who apparently has been violating Sex Childs for years.

Galt has more stories in comments.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

October 2

In a court order dated August 24, 2007 and received October 1, 2007 by prosecutors in the Baltimore City State’s Attorney’s Office, Judge Marcella A. Holland has denied James Thompson’s Petition for Post Conviction Relief and a Motion for a New Trial. The Post Conviction hearing was held on June 27, 2007 before J. Holland. In 1988, Thompson was convicted of the August 2, 1987 murder of Colleen Willar. Thompson was sentenced to life in prison. In the ruling of August 24, 2007 Judge Holland states:
“The DNA evidence does not remove the Petitioner from the scene of the crime. The DNA evidence does eliminate the Petitioner from being the ultimate rapist. Yet, even in the Petitioner’s testimony at the trial of James Owens, he never claims to be the actual murderer or rapist. His claim was that he stood by as the event occurred. Since the DNA evidence does not show that the Petitioner is innocent of the underlying crime of burglary, coupled with his confession stating that he burglarized the house as the victim was murdered, this Court does not concur with the Petitioner that the DNA evidence exculpates him of the primary crime of which he is accused – felony murder. This Court denies the Petitioner’s Motion for a New Trial.”
"A small group of protesters gathered outside Baltimore police headquarters Monday night to call attention to police brutality in the city, invoking the spirit of the Jena 6 rallies. 'We’re here for justice,' said Fenyanga Muhammad, who was shot four times by police after they mistook a Popsicle stick in his mouth for drugs."
(Matt Jablow disputed this account at the time, claiming that shots were only fired after Muhammad tried to grab an officer's gun. Charges are still pending against Muhammad, government name Donnie Ray Chestnut. Thanks galt)

The good news: "A growing number of police departments across Maryland are adopting a domestic violence program that uses a series of pointed questions to identify those most at risk of being killed."
Domestic violence is the leading cause of death for African-American women aged 15–34. So far in the Baltimore area, only the city's Northeast District uses the lethality assessment.

An NYT Op-Ed piece opines that the links above are related to each other, Isiah Thomas and OJ. What do you think?

Judge: The Baltimore police department "must return the personal laptop computer seized from a lieutenant suspected of using it to send offensive e-mails through the department’s network during working hours."

Nutjobs Farther Afield
Bobby Collins, 32, of Brooklyn, N.Y. "made hundreds of crank calls to Maryland police agencies because he was angry over a two-year-old speeding ticket he received while in the state."

Judge Barbara Jung convicted dog groomer Celeste Rainone of animal cruelty and mutilation in the Feb. 17 death of a poodle.

WSJ invokes Royal "we": "Every state has its problems, but we're especially glad this month that we don't live in Maryland." (subscribers only)

Monday, October 1, 2007

October 1

We've got some new laws-- including No Parole for Pervs and the the country's first statewide Living-Wage law (there are cities with laws though).

Assault with box-cutter, two assaults with brick, a stolen tomato in the Blotter.

Police are looking for a hit-and-run driver in a Saturn who struck a police van, causing it to flip on 83 at around midnight last night.

"Justice Department statistics show that the number of inmates in federal and state prisons age 55 and older shot up 33 percent from 2000 to 2005 ... That's faster than the 9 percent growth overall."

State Delegate Pat McDonough, a Republican who represents portions of Baltimore and Harford counties, wants to make MD less hospitable to illegal workers.

In AAC, parents of a 5-year-old boy, Connor Freed, who drowned in an Anne Arundel County pool, won a $4 million judgment against the pool’s management company.

In DC, a job fair for ex-cons.

The Post has an update on the Samuel Sheinbein case: In 1996 in MoCo Sheinbein murdered Alfredo Enrique Tello Jr., 19, apparently just for kicks, then fled to Israel.

The bad news: 20% of two-year-olds watch more than two hours of TV a day! The good news: the resulting brain damage may be reversible.

It's fun to collect typos: "Md. spending on sprawl curb not monitered, report finds" (Sun front page)

Consider skipping the ground beef for while. 21.7 million pounds of it may contain poop germs. Grody!
And it gets worse: "Topps said it believes that the vast majority of the recalled product has been consumed."

Sunday, September 30, 2007

September 30

What the?! The conviction of Melissa Burch Harton has been overturned by the Court of Appeals! You'll recall Harton and her friend Natasha Bacchus Magee went out drinking Tickle Me Elmos, a fight ensued, and Harton strangled her former friend and fellow Loyola grad student to death.

"But officer, I drive a Volvo station wagon and have two young homeys enrolled in youth soccer leagues!" NYT reporter Solomon Moore on the hazards of reporting while black. (There's one problem no Sun or Examiner crime reporter would have!)

In Philadelphia, the Police Commissioner has called for 10,000 volunteers to patrol city blocks.