Saturday, December 17, 2011


A man was shot to death at around 9:10 p.m. Friday in the 2200 block of Elsinore Avenue

Media blabber:
Why is this guy waving a sign about bedbugs in front of @Adam Meister's house? (while Meister and Toilet Artist Duane G. Davis -- in an "ass family" shirt-- take pictures?)

In spite of paying its reporters in gum, is reportedly losing $100 million a year

Friday, December 16, 2011

Judge to state: shove your SLAPP suit

Judge Althea Handy dismissed the state's $100 million counterclaim against State Center's opponents. Reasoned the Judge, "the Noerr-Pennington doctrine applies and the “sham” exception as defined in Prof’l Real Estate Investors, Inc., et al. v. Columbia Pictures Indus., Inc., et al., 508 U.S. 49 (1993) does not; and it is further ORDERED that because the Noerr-Pennington doctrine is dispositive of the motion in this matter, a decision on the other arguments raised by the parties need not be reached." BLAM! BooYA!

UPDATE: more from TDR

Violators and the violated

Extra time for John Wagner, convicted killer of Stephen Pitcairn, the murderous crackhead will now serve "life" plus seven years, eight months, and six days.

Police are ISO a female serial bank robber who wears leggings and Uggs.

The FBI has (finally!) changed the definition of rape to remove the requirement that the victim is a woman, the weapon is a penis and the "forcible" part. (So what did they call "the Sandusky" before? Plain old sexual assault, I guess?)

Down at Ft Meade, Bradley Manning's trial is underway. Wikileaks' most recent leak: documents from the "mass surveillance industry"

And how about that NDAA? So long habeus corpus, bye bye Bill of Rights. We've arrived at a point where unaccountable persons in the government (or serving corporations that subcontract for the government) can read your email, decide they don't like it, and stuff you into a van, never to be heard from again. Obama is expected to sign NDAA today-- if so it'll be exactly 220 years and a day after the Bill of Rights was ratified. There's a lot out there written about it (too little, too late), the IB Times has a good compilation. Of the Maryland Delegation, three voted for it: Hoyer, Ruppersberger and Bartlett. In the senate, Milkulski and Sarbanes both voted against.

It gets better

Got an email from the Justice Policy Institute expressing aggravation that while prison populations are down nationwide, Maryland's prison population is up. Of course one's first gut reaction is, I don't want to pay $40-60 a day to feed, house and clothe 1.8% more assorted fuckweasels and fudgeclowns. But-- could it be-- dare we imagine-- that the growth in state prison population is a sign that homicides and shootings are down because police are arresting the right people, prosecutors are bringing better cases, rapes are being investigated and prosecuted and the jury pool is sucking slightly less? Note that per Gary Maynard, 40% of MD's prison population is from Baltimore City, 25% is from PGC, 15% from Baltimore County, and the state's other 21 counties make up the rest.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bullies: mostly winning

Mike, the owner of the Up Close barber shop is still in critical condition after being shot in the head during the course of a robbery yesterday. Police are ISO a lead.

Nelson Bernard Clifford, a sex offender who just beat rape charges, was linked by DNA to two more rapes*. And was also charged with a rape last month. He was also charged with failing to register as a sex offender, but the circuit court dropped those charges, 10 days before he was charged with rape again.

A year and a day on tax evasion charges for former criminal defense attorney Stanley Needleman, who had $1.3 million in cash from clients stashed in his basement. Probably there's a lot more to this story, probably involving laundering drug proceeds, but probably we'll never know. For what it's worth, in June Needleman was also charged with stealing a book from a courtroom.

Justin Fenton is trying to figure out how Brandon Mitchell, 18, was arrested for murder and released on bail*-- twice in one week, no less, and after a commissioner ordered him held without bond.

Oh crackheads, you so crazy! A burglar broke into a house by busting through the wall of the vacant next door.

Nationwide, death-penalty cases are at a 35-year low, says the Death Penalty Information Center.

Jury selection was underway this morning in the case of parents who are suing the city school system for $1.3 million for not doing enough to protect their special-needs son from bullies at Hazelwood and Glenmount Elementary Schools. More here*

In other torty news, Blockbuster just settled sexual harassment and retaliation claims from its Gaithersburg distribution center for $2 million.

And no decision yesterday from Judge Althea Handy*, who was asked to dismiss a $100 million SLAPP suit from the state aimed at opponents of the $1.5 billion State Center project. Two plaintiffs dropped out of the suit in exchange for the state agreeing to not sue them for suing.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Crazy numbers

Some amazing stats reported at the CJCC meeting today:
  • From January 1 until today, there have been 549 homicides and shootings so far in the city, compared with 942 in 2000.
  • The city closed about 1,000 more felony cases this year than it did in 2010, thanks to reorganization of the docket and the addition of a second administrative judge.
  • Deaths in which the manner was undetermined are way down, from 331 in 2007 to a virtually unprecedented 154 so far this year, said David Fowler of the ME's office. (Most of these are drug-related, with the ME's office unable to determine if a heroin addict injected themselves or was injected by someone else, which would make the death technically a homicide).
  • Arrested citizens released without charges are also way down from last year, with the city releasing 70% fewer arrestees with no charges than last year-- 4,875 fewer people.
  • And finally, homicide arrests: 93 so far this year for 189 homicides, for a tidy 50% clearance rate.
Of course, every rose has its thorn, and the one currently bedeviling the city's backside is property crime. So far this year the BPD reports that home-invasion robberies with a gun are up 25%, rape arrests are up 63% (of course we have an inkling as to why that might be*), burglary is up 12%, and commercial robberies with a gun are up 75% over this time last year.

So why so few shootings, murders and overdoses, and why so much robbery? Is the judicial system just that more effective this year? Is the economy turning former shoplifters into armed home invaders? All or none of the above? Mysteries abound...

A murder conviction, cross-dressing cops and a stolen sandwich

The Ink covers last week's five murders

A second man, Kedar Anderson, was convicted for involvement in the murder of Kenneth Jones, former leader of the Pasadena Denver Lanes Bloods gang.

Police Tweet "4200 block Ivanhoe. Adult male reported to be shot in the leg"
A warning to the patrons of the transgendered prostitutes of Charles Village, a sting operation is "forthcoming."* (Is "transgenders" really a plural noun?)

Sixteen students at Chesapeake High School in Essex were sent to the hospital after an officer used pepper spray to break up a fight.

Baltimore rape suspect Kendall Thomas Lynn was arrested in NC

Molto duro combattimento between bocce players in Little Italy

A $77,500 fine for Wheelabrator Baltimore, after the company's smokestack showered us all with mercury.

A $500k fine for Wells Fargo, which made defamatory statements about a local broker

A snowblower, three 500-pound weights and an air conditioner among the purloined loot in Towson last week.* Stolen in the Northern: a snakeskin wallet, deodorant, a buffalo chicken sub.

Federal judge: it's legal to not hire tattooed prospective cops

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Settling for less

More city lawsuit payouts TK*, including $375k to the family of Edward Lamont Hunt, unarmed and fatally shot in the back in the parking lot of the Hamilton Park Shopping Center in 2008 (You might remember ... Officer Thomas Sanders was charged with manslaughter, but acquitted) and $36,600 for an army reservist who didn't get his job back after his service.

Five-time felon McKenzie White got 19 years in the federal pen after his latest attempted robbery that was stymied by his clever would-be victim and his quick-thinking dad.

A disturbing number of citizens robbed by teenagers in the latest Baltimore Guide police blotter

Timothy Ray Berry of Owings Mills copped a guilty plea to illegal possession of weapons and explosives: he shot a kid in the leg with a BB gun, which led the FBI to search his house and find his stash of C-4 explosive material, an M-800 pyrotechnic device, containers of potassium nitrate and potassium chlorate, smokeless shotgun powder, model rocket igniters and motors, pool chemicals, various fuse materials, PVC and metal pipe of varying lengths and pipe fittings. (And he would've gotten away with it, if it wasn't for that kid!)

Stealing donations from the United Way? That's low, Dorothy Shields Talbot.

The death of a 57-year-old inmate at the North Branch Correctional Institution was ruled a homicide, the medical examiner say Lewis J. Thompson Jr. was strangulated.

How much would it cost to tear down the city's vacant buildings? Oh, take a wild guess.

Goodbye Occupy

The Occupy Baltimore encampment is gone*. Police evicted them peacefully around 3 AM this morning with no arrests being reported.
(Un-paywalled-story here at the SF Chronicle, and video from Fenton*, who apparently never sleeps and/or was tipped off by someone... - MJ)

Monday, December 12, 2011


A 58-year-old man was stabbed to death at an apartment complex for seniors in the NW.
Police released a sketch, left, of a suspect wanted for a robbery/stabbing at a gas station on Nov. 6 in the 2200 block of North Charles Street

The city's 11th police-involved shooting this year was one Franklin Williams, 38, now in critical condition. His family says he suffers from schizophrenia; police say was wielding a knife and wouldn't drop it. As per their custom, BPD has refused to release the officer's name.

Two shootings yesterday in west Baltimore

A man found suspiciously dead in a Remington parking lot was ID'd as Steven Rudy, 53.

A suspect was arrested after trying to rob the PNC bank inside the Towson University student union.

Can police check a passenger's immigration status during a traffic stop? If a passenger in a car has a history of arrest for armed robbery, can he be lawfully patted down for weapons? Can Spanish-speaking prospective jurors be dismissed if they aren't sure they can ignore any Spanish they encounter in favor of a translator's translation? All these questions and more answered in TDR's roundup of Fourth-Circuit Court of Appeals' Opinions

From the Evergreen listserv:
Video Americain [on Cold Spring Lane] was robbed on Wednesday, 7th of December at 9:30PM. We have a description of the robber who claimed to be wielding a firearm (which was never shown) and assaulted one of our employees before robbing us: African-American. 5'8 or 5'9. Skinny. Short dreads. Tribal-looking tattoo under left eye. Also noticed a smaller one near his right eye.
O'Malley wants Lady Gaga to come to MD to fight against bullying. Insert punchline here.
An arrest has been made in a September killing in Dundalk. Jeremiah Ezekiel Edwards, 19 has been charged with first degree murder for the murder of Robert Charles Nelson, 24.

County police are searching for a missing 14-year-old girl. If you have any information on the whereabouts of Madison Renee Davis of Dundalk, please let the authorities know.

A shooting outside Club Envy on Maryland Ave. puts three in the hospital.

Police in Towson have arrested a man for committing a series of Goodwill store robberies. Richard Carvan Pettaway, 29, who also happened to be a former employee of the Padonia store, was busted after showing he seriously lacked goodwill. (That was terrible...)

Durante Ricco Ervin, 50, a Pikesville vagrant was arrested for committing several robberies including one where he threw an elderly couple to the ground during a house robbery.

After three years the search for Brittany Peart has taken a tragic end with the discovery of her body in a field in Delaware.