Paroled killer sought in slaying of ex-girlfriend

January 07, 1993|By Michael James | Michael James,Staff Writer

A man recently paroled after serving about eight years in prison for a 1983 murder is now being sought for the stabbing death Tuesday of his former girlfriend in Baltimore, homicide detectives said.

Joseph James Brooks, also known as Bobby Arthur Murray, of the 1800 block of N. Dallas St., is charged with first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon in the slaying of Ruth Roberts, 41.

Ms. Roberts, a mother of two who had recently split up with Brooks after dating him for about a year, was killed about 11:40 a.m., police said.

Her attacker had broken into her apartment in the 1300 block of E. North Ave.

Detectives said Brooks, 38, had been becoming increasingly violent toward Ms. Roberts since she broke up with him. Last week, Ms. Roberts had reported to police that Brooks had assaulted her. She did not obtain an arrest warrant, however, police said.

Brooks was convicted in 1984 in the slaying of an East Baltimore youth, Nathaniel Ray, 17. The Ray youth was hit in the back by two shotgun blasts on Dec. 29, 1983, as he attempted to run from an attacker who was chasing him in the 1400 block of N. Montford Ave., police said. The youth staggered into a house and was pronounced dead a half-hour later at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Witnesses identified Brooks as the gunman.

Investigators said the slaying following an argument about a drug transaction.

Len Sipes, a spokesman for the state Division of Correction, was unable to provide any details late yesterday about the terms of Brooks' parole.

Anyone with any information on the whereabouts of the suspect is asked to call city homicide detectives at 396-2100.

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