Stripper, 2 friends charged in slaying of restaurant cook Victim of fatal beating killed soon after leaving work at Brass Elephant

August 15, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A stripper on Baltimore's Block and two of her friends were charged yesterday in the fatal beating of a cook who was killed soon after he left work at the Brass Elephant restaurant on North Charles Street.

The arrests capped a two-week investigation and might end a mystery for the victim's friends and family, who had wondered how the 26-year-old went out to buy beer and ended up beaten in Armistead Gardens in Northeast Baltimore.

Police said that the victim, Michael Wayne Cole, who lived in the 900 block of N. Calvert St., walked to the Flamingo Bar on Custom House Avenue Aug. 1 and befriended a 24-year-old stripper who dances under the name of "Tammy."

Detective Martin Young of the homicide unit said Cole went by car with the dancer to her home in the 1100 block of Quantril Way, and was beaten and robbed of money in a parking lot when he got out of the car.

Cole crawled several blocks and collapsed next to a fence in the 5000 block of Wright Ave., where a passer-by spotted him bleeding profusely from the head. He died Aug. 4 at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.

Agent Ragina L. Cooper, a city police spokeswoman, said that the dancer, Tammy Lynn Prubis, 24, of the 1100 block of Quantril Way turned herself in at police headquarters Tuesday night. She was charged with first-degree murder, accessory to robbery, robbery and possession of a deadly weapon.

Cooper said that George Herold Justice Jr. also of the 1100 block of Quantril Way turned himself in to police yesterday. He was charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery and battery. His age was not available.

Police said an arrest warrant has been obtained for Timothy Michael Wilders, 25, of the 3200 block of Cliftmont Ave. charging him with first-degree murder and armed robbery. He was being sought last night.

Cole, who grew up in St. Mary's County but whose parents live in Elizabethton, Tenn., was about to embark on a two-week vacation to show his family the cooking skills he learned at the expensive Mount Vernon restaurant.

Friends said that the night he was killed, Cole declined a roommate's invitation to go out to a local bar and instead stayed in and drank four beers. He then went out to get more beer.

Young said he is not sure why Cole went to the Flamingo.

"I'm not sure if he went to the club before to watch dancers," the detective said. "This is the first I know of him going to the club."

Police said that after Cole's story appeared on television and in newspapers, residents from Armistead Gardens called with tips on the slaying. That led Young to the Flamingo and the dancer.

Pub Date: 8/15/96

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