Man arrested in double slaying that took life of volleyball star Police think suspect was linked to one victim

January 17, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Baltimore police arrested a suspect yesterday in a double slaying last month of a man and a 16-year-old girl who had left home with a $250 deposit for her volleyball team's planned summer tour of Europe.

Augustus Redditt, 27, of the 2900 block of Rockrose Ave. was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and using a handgun in the commission of a felony.

Homicide detectives and the U.S. Marshal's Fugitive Task Force arrested the suspect about 6:30 a.m. in a rowhouse in the 1700 block of N. Port St.

Mr. Redditt was questioned for several hours at police headquarters and later ordered held without bail by a court commissioner.

Police knew of no motive for the slayings of Brian Sterrett, 21, and the teen-ager, Erica Jefferson, who were found dead Dec. 16 in the residential neighborhood of Uplands Park about 12:15 a.m.

Miss Jefferson was an honor student-athlete at Edmondson-Westside High School and an active member of Mount Moriah Baptist Church in West Baltimore.

She had been chosen as one of 12 players nationally on the U.S. volleyball team scheduled to tour Europe in July, beginning in Belgium.

Detective Christopher Bieling of the homicide unit said investigators believe that the suspect and one of the victims are connected "one way or another," but they are not sure how.

He said the motive is unclear, and robbery still is being considered.

The detective would not say what led police to Mr. Redditt.

Detective Bieling said they have not found the gun used in the slayings.

Police said at the time of the slaying that Miss Jefferson's money was missing.

Mr. Sterrett was shot several times in the chest as he sat in a car outside his mother's home in the 4400 block of Old Frederick Road.

Miss Jefferson was shot in the head near her mother's house in the 400 block of Edsdale Road, a block away.

Mr. Sterrett graduated from Edmondson-Westside three years ago and had worked for United Parcel Service on Joh Avenue as a loader.

He was an active member of Mount Olive Baptist Church in Towson.

The night of the shooting, Miss Jefferson had collected deposit money for the trip from her aunt, who lives on Mountview Road, and was walking to her home on Edsdale, less than a mile away. It was the first time she had walked home alone so late at night.

Lenora Stewart, the girl's aunt, said yesterday that she believes robbery was the motive.

"She never bothered nobody. She was a beautiful girl. The only thing on her mind was the trip," Ms. Stewart said.

Irby Miller, the principal of Edmondson-Westside, said the arrest helps ease the pain, but he still remains bitter about the slaying.

"She was a tremendous asset and for someone to just snuff it out like that was uncalled for," Mr. Miller said.

"She had everything worked out," he said. "She was going places."

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.