City employee and co-defendant convicted in slaying over drug debt.

CAROZZA GUILTY IN MURDER

March 05, 1991|By Raymond L. Sanchez | Raymond L. Sanchez,Evening Sun Staff

Longtime crime figure Dominic "Crowbar" Carozza and a co-defendant were convicted today of the narcotics-related murder of Russell Charles Baker, a reputed drug courier who owed Carozza money.

Carozza, 59, a suspended city public works supervisor, and Robert "Tattoo Bobby" Vizzini, 26, were found guilty of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and a handgun violation.

When the foreman of the city Circuit Court jury read the verdicts shortly after noon, Carozza sat in his wheelchair at the defense table and simply nodded. Vizzini stared straight ahead.

Both face mandatory life sentences. Judge Hilary D. Caplan set sentencing for April 25.

A prosecutor had described Carozza as the "mastermind" behind the June 22 murder of Baker near Carozza's Little Italy home. The state said Vizzini drove the getaway car. William "Crazy" Brooks, accused of pulling the trigger, is awaiting trial. Baker, 42, a heroin addict, was shot six times on Pier 7 in Fells Point.

Baker and Marsha Hammons, 36, Carozza's girlfriend, borrowed more than $2,000 from Carozza to buy heroin in Brooklyn, N.Y., according to testimony. Baker was supposed to sell the heroin with Hammons, but instead used most of the narcotics.

Carozza's 30-year criminal history includes numerous allegations and convictions connected to shootings, stabbings and federal firearms charges.

Carozza lost his right leg in a 1971 car-bomb explosion.

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