Teen arrested in the slaying of his step-father Polytechnic senior, 16, is charged in the Oct. 7 shooting in North Baltimore

October 28, 1992|By Roger Twigg | Roger Twigg,Staff Writer

A 16-year-old Baltimore Polytechnic Institute senior was charged early today with the Oct. 7 killing of his step-father as the man slept in his North Baltimore apartment.

Michael Anthony Rumber Jr., who police said had been living recently with his natural father in Randallstown, was charged as an adult with first-degree murder and a handgun violation.

He was picked up for questioning yesterday at his natural father's house.

He was being held today at the Central police lockup awaiting a bail hearing.

Det. Oscar L. Requer, of the city police department's homicide unit, said the victim, Hubert Anthony Burke, 28, was shot "right beyond the ear while he was sleeping. The man never moved."

Mr. Burke was found slain about 5 p.m. Oct. 7 on the floor of his apartment in the 900 block of Belgian Avenue. Police said someone walked into the apartment and placed a .38-caliber handgun behind his ear and fired one shot, killing him instantly.

The victim, who was facing eviction the following day, was asleep on a mattress at the time.

"The apartment was sparsely furnished. There was nothing to steal," Detective Requer said.

The detective also said the motive for the shooting was unknown.

Police said the suspect took a handgun from his grandparents' house and used it to kill Mr. Burke.

Police said the victim had been married to the suspect's mother, Lolita Burke, 35, for about four years.

The young suspect moved out of the apartment several weeks before the slaying because of their strained relationship and went to live with his natural father in Randallstown.

After the shooting, investigators said they determined that only the victim, his wife and the youth had keys to the apartment where the slaying took place.

"He never admitted or denied it. He was cold and mute. He didn't say a damn thing," Detective Requer said today. "It's a shame. He had a lot going for him. He was bright and articulate."

Robert G. Draine, a Poly administrator, said he could not release the teen's academic records, adding: "He is a satisfactory student. The fact that he has been at Poly for three straight years shows he did well."

The administrator said school records indicate that the youth "has not been a behavior problem. His file is quite good."

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