Father who helped is honored as another who tried prepares to bury 2 teens Youths preferred drug-dealing to work


April 24, 1991|By Rafael Alvarez S.M. Khalid of The Sun's metropolitan staff contributed to this article.

An article in Wednesday's editions of The Sun incorrectly identified the Baltimore neighborhood in which the 400 block of Yale Avenue is located. It is in Irvington.

The Sun regrets the error.

Charles "Chunky" Jefferson called up his father one day last year and said he didn't want to work for him anymore.

"I was paying him $50 a day," said Charles Jefferson Sr., the owner of a small Baltimore construction company.

Said Cheryl Jefferson, Chunky's sister: "I guess that wasn't making money fast enough or enough of it."

Chunky, his family and the police said, was already making much more than $50 a day selling cocaine with Derrick Lamont Newman, a convicted drug dealer and his mother's 19-year-old grandson from a previous marriage. Both high school dropouts, Chunky and Derrick were raised as brothers in the same middle-class house on Royal Oak Avenue in Northwest Baltimore.


Working for a living didn't interest either of them.

Their family spent yesterday planning their double funeral.

"When you're dealing drugs, you're going to end up either in jail or dead, no alternative," Mr. Jefferson said yesterday. "My children were raised properly, that's what gives me an ill feeling. They were raised according to society, and they didn't want for anything. Early in life they even went to Sunday school."

Chunky Jefferson and Derrick Newman grew up to become street dealers, according to the police, selling cocaine in poor to working-class neighborhoods such as Yale Heights in Southwest Baltimore, where they were found shot to death in the basement of a row house Sunday.

The police said they had been killed sometime late Friday or early Saturday by a man who bought a bag of cocaine from them that didn't turn out to be as good as promised.

Killed with them in a drug deal gone bad was Christopher Alston, a 15-year-old who lived in the first block of Walden Oak Court in Woodlawn and who looked up to Chunky and saw the older boy as someone he wanted to emulate.

When the body of Christopher's hero was found in a deserted, debris-cluttered field in Odenton, Chunky was wearing pants adorned with homemade artwork -- the words "kilo" and "ounce" and a picture of a handgun with smoke coming out of the barrel.

Christopher's sister, Josette Alston, said the Catonsville High School freshman, "a swell person," started selling drugs two years ago with Mr. Newman and Mr. Jefferson for quick money. Chris was 13.

"He was selling, yeah," she said. "They were together selling drugs. I told him how dangerous drugs was. I told him not to sell it over there in [Yale Heights] that late, but that was when the money started coming in. He was out there selling it from 9 o'clock at night until 6 in the morning."

Miss Alston, 16, said that her brother had been beaten, stabbed and shot.

"Chris looked upon Derrick and Chunky as being the brothers he never had," said Betty Alston, the boy's mother.

was an ideal son," she said.

The bodies of the three teen-agers were found by the police late Sunday night.

Detectives were led to the bodies by Ricardo Burks, 31, of the 400 block of South Augusta Avenue.

Mr. Burks has been charged with killing Marvin Odell Willis III, his 25-year-old brother-in-law, who was found dead in a house in the 400 block of Yale Avenue.

The police allege that Mr. Willisand Mr. Burks killed the three teen-agers before dumping their bodies in Odenton.

Mr. Burks -- held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center yesterday -- is charged with killing Mr. Willis hours later after an argument at the Yale Avenue house about who might turn the other in.

He is also charged with kidnapping a young couple after the killings. He allegedly forced them to give him $170 and made them drive toVirginia and back -- with stops along the way for fast food and motel naps -- for unknown reasons.

None of it made sense to Charles Jefferson Sr., who will bury his son and another boy he raised as his son this Saturday, on his 54th birthday.

"Had I known my flesh and blood was selling drugs, I would have had him incarcerated and he would have been living today, in jail," Mr. Jefferson said.

"Peer pressure tells these kids to wear $110 tennis shoes and Jordache jeans and drive this kind of car when you don't even have a job. I'd say to him, 'Chunky, you dealing drugs?' and he'd just shrug.

"I want to put my resentment on the peers of these children, teen-agers and young adults who flaunt the gold and silver instead of [admiring] hard work and an education, the things you can hold onto," Mr. Jefferson said.

"My son only lived a short span and he died, but I want his friends that are probably out there doing the same things that he did to come to the funeral home and pass and review his body and Derrick's body and think:

" 'Hey man, if I don't stop, I'm going to be in there.' "

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