Suspect admitted killing woman in Owings Mills, cousin says BALTIMORE COUNTY

January 07, 1993|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Staff Writer

Seventeen-year-old Nigel Antonio Carter glared across the courtroom yesterday as his cousin told a Baltimore County jury how, on the afternoon of Christina Marie Brown's murder, Mr. Carter said he "capped" a woman because she "gave him a rough way to go."

"I took it as meaning he shot a person," said Kevin Simmons, a 34-year-old unemployed landscape worker. "I didn't believe him."

Throughout his brief testimony in Baltimore County Circuit Court, Mr. Simmons seemed reluctant to tell his story, at one point saying he didn't want to get his cousin in trouble.

But on the first full day of Mr. Carter's murder trial, Mr. Simmons' testimony appeared to be the most damning evidence. In fact, Mr. Simmons led police to Mr. Carter, who then confessed to killing Ms. Brown as she walked along a pathway between the Owings Mills Mall and the Metro station on Sept. 25.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Mr. Carter would face a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty because Mr. Carter was not 18 at the time of the crime. He also is charged with armed robbery.

In his opening statement to the jury, defense attorney Gerald A. Kroop said the case hinges on whether jurors believe his client voluntarily confessed to police.

"You will see that the police officers brought him in and for at least three hours, and at least seven times, he said he didn't do it," said Mr. Kroop. "But they pressed him . . . wearing him down."

During a pretrial hearing, Mr. Carter said he made up the confession after police threatened that his mother would lose her house if he didn't cooperate.

Mr. Kroop also told jurors the homicide detectives lied when they told his client they had found his fingerprints on Ms. Brown's DTC body and on some of her belongings.

"You won't accept that confession" as being voluntary, he said.

Minutes before the trial began, Judge Christian M. Kahl did accept the confession, ruling that Mr. Carter knew his rights and voluntarily confessed. That police lied did not matter, he said.

Ms. Brown, 28, was shot once in the back of the head.

According to Mr. Carter's confession, they struggled over her purse, which contained about $120. After confessing, Mr. Carter led homicide detectives to the purse. It was found along some railroad tracks close to Mr. Simmons' home in Park Heights.

The trial resumes today.

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