Youth held in slaying of mall worker Suspect, 17 charged as adult

October 08, 1992|By Michael James and Fred Rasmussen | Michael James and Fred Rasmussen,Staff Writers

A Baltimore teen-ager was charged yesterday with killing an Owings Mills Mall employee who was shot in the head and robbed Sept. 25 as she walked to a Metro station near the mall.

Police said the suspect -- Nigel Antonio Carter, 17 -- had been expelled from a Baltimore alternative high school just 10 days before the murder. He is alleged to have given the victim's Metro bus pass to his sister so she could enjoy free transportation, court papers said.

The Carter youth, of the 2300 block of N. Rosedale St., was arrested after police received information that he allegedly shot the victim when she resisted his attempt to rob her purse, court papers said.

He was charged as an adult with first-degree murder and was bTC being held without bail last night at the Garrison District police station.

The slain worker, Christina Marie Brown, 28, had just left work at the Saks Fifth Avenue store in the mall and was on her way to catch the Metro. A gunman approached her on a secluded pathway and shot her once in the head with a large caliber handgun, police said.

After the shooting, the Carter youth allegedly told a friend -- who later became an informant to the police -- that he "capped," or shot, Ms. Brown because "she was giving him a rough way to go" during the robbery, court papers said.

The killer took Ms. Brown's purse containing $120. Court papers said the Carter youth is also suspected of having taken Ms. Brown's bus pass, which he allegedly gave to his sister to use when riding the Metro.

Court records went on to say that the Carter youth had been expelled from the Harbor City School in Baltimore just 10 days before the attack. School officials could provide no details about the expulsion last night.

The killing of Ms. Brown, who had worked for a cleaning company contracted by Saks, created fear among users of the Baltimore Metro and Owings Mills shoppers while police searched for the killer.

E. Jay Miller, a Baltimore County police spokesman, said several of Ms. Brown's personal belongings, including an identification card, were recovered in Baltimore after her assailant apparently discarded them.

A citizen initially found the identification card and dropped it into a mailbox in Northwest Baltimore, Mr. Miller said.

The citizen came forward after police issued a plea for him to do so, and investigators were then led to where the items were found, Mr. Miller said.

The Carter youth was identified as a suspect after an informant called the police and implicated him, court records said.

In an anonymous phone call to police, the informant said that the Carter teen had said -- possibly on the very day of the murder -- that he had shot someone, according to court records. The informant said he was still carrying a .357-caliber Magnum revolver and had bloody clothing, court papers said.

An employee of Saks Fifth Avenue also received a phone call from an anonymous person who said a composite sketch being circulated by police was not that of a witness to the crime, as police thought, but the face of the killer.

A citizen eventually came forward to acknowledge making the phone calls.

The Carter youth was arrested in the city yesterday morning while riding in a car at Westwood Avenue and North Longwood Street.

Ms. Brown lived in the 6600 block of Parr Ave. in Northwest Baltimore. She had moved to Baltimore from California in 1983 and had been working at the mall for two months. She had ridden the Metro every day, family members said.

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