Woman killed for revenge, police say Slaying tied to death of teen drug robber

April 01, 1997|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

A woman shot to death Easter Sunday in a hail of bullets after delivering two young daughters to her grandmother's home was slain in retaliation for the killing of a teen-ager suspected of robbing the woman of drugs and money, city police said yesterday.

The link between the deaths of Chaquetta Ronesa Edwards, 27, and Steven Johnson, 15, was explained by a homicide detective after police arrested the woman's brother and charged him with the youth's slaying.

But no arrest had been made in the slaying of Edwards, of the 2800 block of W. Lanvale St., who was shot about 2: 30 p.m. Sunday while seated in her car in front of her grandmother's house in the 2000 block of Guilford Ave. Her daughters -- Shannice Edwards, 7, and Shannya Edwards, 5 -- were playing nearby with friends and were unhurt.

Homicide Detective Sean Harrison said police had only a scant description of the man who fired at least a dozen 9 mm bullets into the woman's car.

Harrison described Chaquetta Edwards as a "fairly decent mover and shaker in drugs in the area of Boone and East 21st streets."

Court records show that between April 1995 and February 1997, she was charged with possession of a handgun, possession of drugs, assault and resisting arrest, and that all the charges were dismissed or not prosecuted.

Harrison said he believed Edwards was intending to go to the Boone Street area when a gunman stepped from a playground across the street and sprayed her 1988 Honda with bullets, killing the woman instantly.

Harrison said the woman had been dealing cocaine and was robbed of drugs and money at least twice by Steven Johnson, of the 700 block of E. 21st St., who was fatally shot last week in retaliation for the robberies.

The detective said Johnson and several other youths were shooting craps in the 700 block of E. 20th St. about 10 p.m. Wednesday when a gunman approached the group and shot him in the chest. Johnson died the next morning at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Harrison said investigators in the Johnson slaying had obtained information that Chaquetta Edwards had told someone that the youth had robbed her. "We don't know if the woman fingered the kid, but she definitely had something to do with his death," Harrison said.

Shortly after Edwards was killed Sunday afternoon, her brother and others were questioned at police headquarters. "We had a nickname on the man who killed Johnson and later identified that man as Chaquetta Edwards' brother," Harrison said.

Aaron Edwards, 19, of the 900 block of Valley St. was charged early yesterday with first-degree murder and was being held without bail at the Central Booking and Intake Center.

Harrison said women dealing in drugs was common in Baltimore.

"Most people think all the drug dealers are men and that any women hanging around them are there to make dates with the guys or whatever," Harrison said.

He said women drug dealers face the same dangers as male dealers -- including the risk of being shot to death in turf wars.

"We think that's why a 15-year-old boy and the mother of two young daughters were each killed," Harrison said.

Pub Date: 4/01/97

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