Baltimore public works official faces murder charge in June 22 shooting

October 04, 1990|By Roger Twigg

Dominic J. Carozza, a highway superintendent in the Baltimore Public Works Department, has been charged with murder in connection with the midsummer shooting death of one of his associates, law enforcement authorities said yesterday.

That associate was the fourth person Mr. Carozza has been charged with killing. He was acquitted of murder charges in three killings that took place in the 1960s.

Mr. Carozza also faces a Nov. 13 federal trial on charges of being a felon in illegal possession of ammunition and tampering with a witness. The federal charges are related to the recent homicide.

Along with two other men, the 58-year-old Mr. Carozza, a resident of Albemarle Street in Little Italy, was charged last month with first-degree murder and a handgun violation in the June 22 shooting death of Russell Charles Baker, 42, of the 1900 block of McHenry Street.

Mr. Baker was shot several times in the chest as he stood in the 800 block of Lancaster Street, just west of Fells Point.

Sources said last night that Mr. Carozza is not believed to have been the trigger man.

The other suspects were identified by police as Robert Vizzini, a 26-year-old boxer who lives in the 200 block of Dorell Road, Essex, and John Long, 40, a bartender on The Block who lives in the 1300 block of McHenry Street.

All three men were being held without bail at the Baltimore City Jail.

Mr. Carozza is incarcerated in the jail's hospital unit because he only has one leg. He lost the other one in 1971, when his Cadillac exploded one day as he turned its ignition.

Investigators said the unemployed Mr. Baker, an unidentified man and the 36-year-old girlfriend of Mr. Carozza had taken several thousands of dollars from Mr. Carozza and traveled to New York to buy cocaine.

After the thre returned to Baltimore without the money or drugs, Mr. Baker was killed and the 36-year-old woman was threatened, according to police.

A city homicide detective said murder charges against the three men were lodged after police interviewed at least 50 people.

During the 1960s, Mr. Carozza was acquitted of killing three people in two separate incidents. In 1962, he was convicted of shooting a doorman outside an East Baltimore after-hours club.

He served six years at the Patuxent Institution for that conviction, jail time that he enjoyed referring to as "going to college."

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