Police doubt that Brown, man charged in deaths of 2 youths, killed others He reportedly said there were 3 more

March 28, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Police detectives investigating a man charged with killing two Baltimore youths and sexually assaulting three others are confident that they have found all of the victims connected to the case, a commander said yesterday.

Maj. Wendell M. France, who heads the homicide unit, said investigators do not believe Shawn E. Brown's reported statements to a young sexual assault victim, which imply that he killed as many as five people.

"Mr. Brown's history has been to make statements that might not be factual," the major said, adding that his detectives have sorted through thousands of missing-person reports and a journal written by the suspect.

"We have spent a lot of hours on Shawn Brown," Major France said. "We have spent a lot of time just talking to people. Our investigation has given us a lot of confidence that we have touched all the people who need to be touched."

Mr. Brown, who has been charged with killing Marvin Wise, 8, and Obdul Richards, 16, was accused of 20 additional counts Tuesday, when police charged him with sexually abusing three boys, ages 6, 13 and 14.

In court documents filed yesterday, Mr. Brown is quoted as telling a 13-year-old boy on an unspecified date in January that he had killed three people. That statement predates the killing of Marvin on Feb. 24 and, possibly, the killing of Obdul, who was reported missing Jan. 25 and found dead March 1.

According to the court documents, Mr. Brown sexually assaulted the teen-ager, then warned, "Don't tell. If I find out you told, if anybody finds out, I'll kill you. You don't want to wind up like the other three people I had to kill."

The boy asked the suspect to elaborate, and Mr. Brown answered, "You'll find out. Just keep watching the TV," according to the documents.

The comments are contained in 18 detailed pages that outline the new charges. They offer more insight into how Mr. Brown, who was convicted of asault, allegedly stalked children, drew them into an apartment he shared with his sister in the Flag House Courts public housing high rise and assaulted them at knifepoint.

Court documents say one of the youths fought back with a knife and cut the suspect, who once was described by a judge as "a time bomb waiting to go off."

Mr. Brown served nine years in a New York prison for nearly strangling a 10-year-old Syracuse boy in 1986, an attack that followed the near-strangling of a 7-year-old boy. At the time, Mr. Brown, who had run away from a Johns Hopkins Hospital psychiatric ward in Baltimore, told police he had killed two children. Police were unable to confirm that.

After being released from prison last summer, Mr. Brown returned to Baltimore and lived with his sister at Flag House Courts. In an interview with The Sun this month, he declared his innocence and said he "loved" one of the boys he is accused of strangling.

The court documents released yesterday detail several alleged attacks. They include an account by a 13-year-old who told police he woke up in his Biddle Street rowhouse to find Mr. Brown over him.

"He had a Rambo knife in his hand," the boy told investigators. "That knife is big. He held the blade of the knife on my throat and said, 'Don't move or I'll kill you.' Then he said, 'Take your pants off.' "

A 14-year-old boy told police that he was confronted by Mr. Brown as he played pranks in a 10th-floor hallway at Flag House.

"The defendant came out and he caught me on the steps," the boy said in court papers. "He put a Rambo knife to my neck and said, 'Don't play on my damn door no more. Don't you know I was in jail for murder?' "

Later, the boy said, Mr. Brown asked him to come inside the apartment, again threatened him with a knife and ordered him to get undressed, the court documents say.

The youngest boy told investigators a similar story. According to the documents, the boy said he was watching television with Mr. Brown in July 1995 when the man cut the boy's shirt off with a knife and sexually assaulted him.

Court documents say Mr. Brown again threatened to kill the boy.

Pub Date: 3/28/96

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