Suspect in slaying labeled family traitor Man gave details on aunt to killer, prosecutors say

April 23, 1996|By Kate Shatzkin | Kate Shatzkin,SUN STAFF

The nephew of an elderly Waverly woman went on trial in her killing yesterday, with prosecutors painting him as a traitor willing to see his family robbed so he could feed a drug habit.

Danny Paul McGee, 40, of Parkville -- even though he wasn't at the scene -- was as responsible as if he had pulled the trigger of the gun that killed his aunt, prosecutor Denise Fili told a Baltimore Circuit Court jury during opening statements yesterday.

"More horrible than her gruesome murder is the fact of her betrayal," Ms. Fili said.

The prosecutor said the killer targeted Pearl Elizabeth Moffett, 72, after her nephew supplied him with her banking schedule.

Mrs. Moffett was shot June 9 in a parking lot in the 500 block of Venable St., outside the NationsBank branch where she had just withdrawn $1,500 in cash to pay employees of a family-run janitorial company.

Andre Edwin Allen, 35, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree murder in Mrs. Moffett's death. He is scheduled to be sentenced in June to life plus 20 years in prison under a plea agreement. Allen is the alleged leader of a gang authorities believe was responsible for more than 14 crimes around the city last spring.

Mr. McGee's attorney, David Eaton, said the prosecution's case was based largely on "witnesses for hire" who were testifying in exchange for reduced prison time.

"There's no evidence, of course, that Danny McGee had anything to do with the actual robbery or shooting," Mr. Eaton said.

The lawyer said Mrs. Moffett "was the woman [Mr. McGee] will tell you virtually raised him."

Ms. Fili said Mrs. Moffett was targeted after Mr. McGee, who she said was using drugs daily, met several members of Allen's gang through his dealer. There, he gave the men information about how to rob members of his family, the prosecutor said.

The first target was the Baltimore County home of Judith Care, Pearl Moffett's daughter by her first marriage, and her husband, Warren Care. Mr. McGee knew that Mr. Care had gotten 6 6TC $150,000 settlement after he contracted lung cancer and that the money might be in the house.

But two members of the group found only about $5,000, jewelry and a gun when they burglarized the house, the prosecutor said. Mr. McGee, eager to prove he could come through the next time, told the men about his aunt and her banking schedule, Ms. Fili said.

The men followed Mrs. Moffett's movements on two occasions without robbing her, Ms. Fili said.

Then, she said, Allen approached her and shot the woman with the gun he had stolen from her daughter's home.

Pub Date: 4/23/96

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