The landlord of a three-story apartment house in Hampden was arrested early today and charged with the fatal stabbing of a tenant during an argument over rent that was past due, police said.
Homicide Detective John Burns said Thomas Patrick Noble Jr., 36, of the 3600 block of Roland Ave., was charged with first-degree murder and was being held at the Northern District lockup without bail pending a bail review hearing today before a District Court judge.
Noble, according to Burns, fatally stabbed William Donald Tucker, 61. Police said Tucker moved from address to address and had a brother who lives in Harford County.
The victim's previous address and other background were not known.
Police did say that they were told by the victim's brother that Tucker had suffered from alcoholism.
Burns said Noble, carrying a kitchen knife, went to the tenant'sthird-floor room shortly after 9 p.m. to collect back rent.
During an argument about the money, Burns said, the two men became involved in a brief shoving match and the tenant was stabbed at least once in the upper left chest.
Burns said Noble then went downstairs to the apartment he shared with his wife and told her that the tenant had been injured.
When the wife went upstairs to the victim's room, the detective said, Noble left the house and walked about two blocks before he came upon some men standing outside a building.
Noble reportedly asked the men what a person should do if the person was involved in a homicide.
Burns said the men told Noble to call 911.
Noble called police, and a few minutes later a Northern District officer arrived and found the body of the victim, on the bedroom floor.
Burns said Noble was taken to police headquarters for an interview and later charged with first-degree murder.
A knife was recovered from the landlord's apartment, Burns said.
Apparently, police said, someone attempted to wash the knife off just before it was found by detectives.