Teen held in slaying of girl, 5, in city Suspect was placed in Pimlico-area home days before incident

November 15, 1995|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A troubled teen-ager was charged yesterday with stabbing to death a 5-year-old girl in a Pimlico house where he was placed eight days ago by social service agencies.

Police arrested Jeffrey Clarke Weigel, 19, about one hour after the child's mother found her daughter's body in an upstairs bedroom about 12:30 a.m. Police said that an autopsy showed she also had been sexually assaulted.

Mr. Weigel, who police said has a problem with alcohol, was charged with first-degree murder. He was ordered held without bail yesterday. A court hearing was possible today.

The girl, Latisha Dozier, who lived with her grandparents in the 3600 block of W. Belvedere Ave., was pronounced dead on the scene. A police spokesman, who described the slaying as "brutal," said the dead girl was found lying on an upstairs bed and had been repeatedly stabbed in the head and body.

"It makes you feel sad and it makes you feel angry," said Stephen Wright, 26, who lives a few doors from the victim and pointed out the suspect to police in a neighbor's back yard.

Stunned family members gathered in their Northwest Baltimore home yesterday and tried to comprehend what had happened. "We don't know much," said Latisha's aunt, Barbara Claude. "They are telling us bits and pieces."

Sources said that Mr. Weigel had returned to Maryland a year ago from placement in an out-of-state educational program, either for a behavioral or learning disability.

Local social service agencies placed him in the Pimlico home as part of a program to help ease his transition into self-sufficiency, the source said. Details were not available late yesterday.

Ms. Claude said social service agencies placed Mr. Weigel in her mother's home eight days ago. Ms. Claude said social workers told her that the man had a drinking problem, "but kept it out of the house."

Latisha was being cared for by her grandmother, Rosa McNeil, 58, and her grandfather in their home. Her biological mother, Patricia Dozier, did not have custody, Ms. Claude said. Mrs. McNeil was in the hospital undergoing heart surgery yesterday and did not know her granddaughter had been killed.

Ms. Claude said that Mr. Weigel was supposed to stay only three days, but his transitional housing elsewhere didn't work out, and he returned. At first, the suspect was reclusive and stayed in his room; then he "started playing with the other kids."

Just a few days ago, she said the suspect "begged Rosa to stay and my aunt said OK. And then looked what happened."

Police said the suspect had been left alone with Latisha, her 12-year-old cousin and 7-year-old sister. About 12:30 a.m., the child's mother went to the house, found the body in a middle bedroom and called police.

About one hour later, with police still on the scene, Mr. Wright said he heard noises outside in the back and went to the rear door. He heard a neighbor yell out, "Who's trying to get in here," and then he saw the suspect run out of the yard.

"He just looked like he was dazed," Mr. Wright said. "It was like he didn't know where he was at, like he was trying to hide."

Officers, hearing the commotion, converged at the scene and quickly arrested the man as he tried to run through a back alley.

Mr. Weigel has been arrested twice since his 18th birthday, court records show. Both times, he was charged with giving a false statement to a police officer. The trial date for one of those cases is scheduled for February.

The latest arrest was Sunday in Carroll County.

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