4 held in theft, killing at eatery 2 teens who worked for slain owner of Treate's charged.

November 20, 1991|By Robert Hilson Jr. and William B. Talbott | Robert Hilson Jr. and William B. Talbott,Evening Sun Staff

Four people have been arrested and charged with the murder of the owner of Treate's restaurant, including two teen-age employees of the downtown eatery and a 14-year-old.

Police said the employees, Kendall Easter and Shawn Courtney, both 17, were in the restaurant when Myung Jin Shin, 32, was killed during the Nov. 6 robbery. Both were questioned immediately after the slaying and were arrested yesterday.

Also arrested yesterday in connection with the death were James Hickman, 21, of the 2800 block of W. Cold Spring Lane, and Brian Johnson, 14, of the 2800 block of Ridgewood Ave.

All four have been charged with first-degree murder, handgun felony and armed robbery, and were being held at the Central District police station today awaiting a bail hearing. The three teen-agers were charged as adults.

Shin, a Korean who immigrated to the United States eight years ago, was shot in the face during a robbery as he struggled with two men about 4:30 p.m. in the restaurant, on the ground level of the Equitable Building at 10 N. Calvert St. He was taken to the Shock-Trauma Unit in Baltimore, where he died a short time later.

Homicide detective Richard Garvey said Easter and Courtney "assisted in planning the robbery" and that Hickman is believed to have been the gunman.

Garvey said that police did not believe the stories the suspects told police when they were questioned immediately after the shooting.

Easter, of the 3900 block of Towanda Ave., and Courtney, of the 2800 block of Santa Fe Ave., told police that they were cleaning in the restaurant's kitchen when the men entered through an unlocked front door. They said they heard a scuffle and ran to the front of the store to see what was happening, police said.

Police said the employees said they watched as Shin was shot by one man with a small-caliber handgun as he struggled with the other.

The employees told police they were tied up and put into a walk-in freezer. Hill said the robbers knew that Shin carried a key to a room where the money was kept. The men stole an undetermined amount of cash before fleeing on foot, police said.

But Garvey doubted if the employees were locked in the freezer.

"You have five people in the restaurant and four of them are arrested and one is dead. Do you think any were locked in there?" Garvey said.

A memorial was planned for today from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. in front of the restaurant.

In an unrelated arrest, police charged a South Baltimore man early today with the fatal stabbing and robbery of his 75-year-old great-uncle last Friday.

Steven Darrin White, 25, of the 2400 block of Nevada St., was charged with first-degree murder, a deadly weapon violation and armed robbery in connection with the death of Andrew Randolph Shorts.

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