New York man charged in slaying of boy, 10

January 05, 1994|By Michael James | Michael James,Staff Writer

A smartly dressed New York man appeared before a Baltimore court commissioner last night and was formally charged with first-degree murder in the death of Tauris Johnson, a 10-year-old boy cut down by a stray bullet as he played in front of his house on Nov. 4.

Two city homicide detectives escorted Nathaniel Jack Dawson, 34, of the Bronx, to the Eastern District police station at about 4 p.m. yesterday.

Dressed in a black suit, black dress shoes and a stylish white shirt, Dawson was expressionless as he was led to the lockup in handcuffs. Several hours later he saw a court commissioner, and today he is to be returned to the custody of U.S. marshals, who are holding him on a federal conspiracy to distribute cocaine charge.

Police believe that Dawson, who was on parole in New York for narcotics distribution, was running a cocaine ring in the East Baltimore area when rival drug dealers attempted to kill him in a Nov. 4 shootout in the 1700 block of E. Oliver St.

Tauris, who lived in the same block, was playing football on the street when he was hit in the head by a stray bullet.

Police said the bullet that killed Tauris was fired from Dawson's gun.

Dawson, also known as Jack Steele and Gary Stokes, was arrested Dec. 9 at his Bronx apartment where police seized a cache of weapons and three pounds each of cocaine and marijuana.

Scott Sewell, the U.S. marshal in Baltimore, said Dawson was returned to Maryland Dec. 28. Citing security concerns, he declined to say where federal authorities have held Dawson since his return.

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