Victim's words helped convict man of slaying

August 29, 1996|By Jay Apperson | Jay Apperson,SUN STAFF

A shooting victim's dying words led a Baltimore County Circuit jury to find a Southwest Baltimore man guilty of murder last night.

The jury deliberated about six hours before finding Joe Louis McDowell, 35, guilty of first-degree murder in the Dec. 24, 1994, fatal shooting of Laquitta Howard.

Howard, 23, had identified McDowell as her attacker as she lay mortally wounded in the stairwell of a Woodlawn apartment building.

"She said, 'Joe Louis' -- that's what everybody calls him -- 'Joe Louis shot me. He's my boyfriend's brother,' " prosecutor Jason G. League told the jury yesterday during closing arguments.

Howard, who was shot five times, offered her accusation to a county police officer.

Officer Patrick McGlynn said that Howard, after saying she had gone to the complex to buy drugs, said she was shot because McDowell thought she had gotten her boyfriend -- McDowell's brother, Phillip -- shot and killed.

However, Phillip McDowell survived that shooting.

Joe McDowell was tried in Howard's death last year but that case ended in a mistrial when half the jury voted for acquittal and half voted to convict.

McDowell has been behind bars since his arrest two days after Howard's slaying.

Judge Dana M. Levitz set a Nov. 13 sentencing for McDowell, who also was convicted of use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence.

Pub Date: 8/29/96

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