Dontay Carter, an East Baltimore teen-ager accused of murder and kidnapping in a February crime spree, was hauled into court yesterday and ordered to provide samples of his handwriting.
Preparing for an Oct. 2 trial date for Carter and three co-defendants, prosecutors will compare the samples obtained yesterday with what they believe are the forged signatures of slaying victim Vitalis V. Pilius.
Carter had faced a contempt-of-court charge after refusing to cooperate with a state police handwriting specialist when taken to the Baltimore Police Department's homicide unit Aug. 6.
Handcuffed and shackled, and wearing tan pants and a floral-print shirt, Carter, 19, was led yesterday up a flight of stairs into the jury room adjacent to Baltimore Circuit Judge John N. Prevas' courtroom. He emerged 25 minutes later, having complied with Judge Clifton J. Gordy Jr.'s order to provide the samples.
Assistant State's Attorney Vickie L. Wash said Carter "wrote all kinds of stuff," including names. John S. Deros, an assistant public defender, said Carter did not cooperate last month at the police station because no prosecutors were present to explain the procedure.
Carter, of the 1900 block of N. Collington Ave., is charged with abducting three men from Baltimore parking garages from Feb. 7 to Feb. 14. In two cases, the men he allegedly stuffed into the trunks of their cars escaped alive. In the third case, he allegedly bludgeoned to death Mr. Pilius, a 37-year-old father of four from Catonsville whose body was found in the basement of a vacant rowhouse in the 2000 block of Mura St.
Carter said he pushed the man down the basement steps after he and co-defendant Clarence Woodward beat him with a pipe, according to a summary of his statement to police contained in court files.
Police have said Carter masterminded the crime spree to steal bank and credit cards from the men. Prosecutors hope to compare Carter's signature with those on documents signed in Mr. Pilius' name after he had been killed. Carter allegedly used credit cards stolen from Mr. Pilius and another kidnapping victim on hotel rooms, clothes, mopeds and other items.
The investigation of the kidnappings revealed that a Motor Vehicle Administration employee had provided Carter with two bogus driver's licenses -- including one with Mr. Pilius's name and description.
Four state troopers were disciplined for failing to arrest Carter, who allegedly identified himself twice by showing Mr. Pilius' doctored driver's license.