Heard shot, saw dying barber, court told

February 06, 1992|By Alisa Samuels

On Dec. 20, 1990, a weary Robert Alston dozed off in a barber chair only to be awakened by gunfire. When Mr. Alston came to his senses, he discovered that the barber, James Remsburg, had been shot dead.

Mr. Alston, 54, testified yesterday in the trial of Renard Wheeler, 19, who has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted robbery with a deadly weapon. Mr. Remsburg was slain during a robbery at his barbershop in the 3000 block of Greenmount Avenue.

Mr. Alston, a heavy-equipment operator for the city, told a Baltimore Circuit Court jury that he went to the crowded barbershop after work and spent hours waiting for his haircut. He recalled the shooting this way:

"I heard a bang, bang. When I turned around, Jim was on the floor," he said. There "was a lot of blood coming out of him [Mr. Remsburg]."

Mr. Remsburg died almost immediately.

"He never saw Christmas of 1990, because he was killed. He was murdered in his barbershop," Assistant State's Attorney Vickie Lynn Wash said in her opening statement.

Earlier this week, another man was convicted in connection with the barber's death. Freddie Lee Bradshaw, 22, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and robbery and received a life sentence with all but 30 years suspended.

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