Early last May 5, Darwin Moore asked three men on a Mount Vernon street corner where he could get some money, and he displayed a sawed-off shotgun to show "I'm not about no joke."
Moore and two of the three men then walked around looking for potential robbery victims for about a half an hour before they found Antonio Joseph Blake, who was getting into a car in the 800 block of Park Avenue about 3:30 a.m.
The robbery attempt failed, but Moore fired one shot that "literally blew the victim's head off," prosecutor Althea Handy told Baltimore Circuit Judge Hilary D. Caplan.
Yesterday Moore, 21, pleaded guilty to the murder. Moore, of the 400 block of Orchard Street, faces a sentence of up to life imprisonment at his sentencing Feb. 28. He agreed to testify against two co-defendants, who are also charged with murder in Mr. Blake's death because it occurred during an attempted robbery.
The defendant said little but stood with his left hand clenched behind him as the plea agreement was outlined.
He was arrested in June after homicide detectives traced a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun and a coat with a Department of Social Services identification card found near the scene of the crime, Ms. Handy said.
Four days after Mr. Blake was slain, several hundred people attended a candlelight vigil in Mount Vernon to protest crime in the area.