Teen slaying suspect crime-prone Admitted drug dealer cleared in '95 death

September 05, 1997|By Peter Hermann and Marilyn McCraven | Peter Hermann and Marilyn McCraven,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Kate Shatzkin contributed to this article.

The 16-year-old arrested in Wednesday's fatal shooting near a city school was charged in another slaying two years ago and is an admitted drug dealer who purportedly earned $1,400 a week selling crack cocaine, court records show.

Just halfway through his teen-age years, Kevin Stanley is well acquainted with the legal system, having dropped out of school in the seventh grade to pursue life on the streets of East Baltimore.

Psychiatrists were so worried about the youngster, who has an IQ of 64, that they described him as having no remorse for his crimes and wrote in a report two years ago that "there seems to be a great potential for him to continue committing serious offenses."

A case manager for the Department of Juvenile Justice, Cynthia Ambrose, recommended that Stanley face adult charges in a drug-related slaying in 1995. A murder charge filed against Stanley was dropped after police learned he was one of a group of three youths at the slaying scene, but it had been one of his friends who committed the stabbing.

The juvenile records on Stanley were made public yesterday after he was charged as an adult in connection with this week's slaying.

Stanley was ordered held without bail on charges of first-degree murder and using a handgun in the commission of a violent crime.

Police allege that he fired five shots at two people arguing near Lake Clifton-Eastern High School shortly after classes had let out on Wednesday, the first day of school.

None of the participants, including Stanley, is a student. City officials were quick to point out Wednesday and yesterday that the incident had nothing to do with Lake Clifton or any other school, although it occurred on a path used by many students who walk home or to a bus stop at Harford Road and St. Lo Drive.

In fact, the school system's police chief, Leonard Hamm, called it "your everyday Baltimore homicide." The victim and suspect fit the pattern -- young, black males with some connection to drugs. More than 90 percent of all slaying victims in the city are black males, as are 95 percent of murder suspects.

City police released few new details of the shooting yesterday -- saying only that someone shot at the two arguing men from a crowd, hitting the victim, Derron Garrison, 20, of the 400 block of N. Linwood Ave., three times in the back.

Officer Angelique Cook-Hayes, a police spokeswoman, said the suspect did not know the victim. She described the shooting as an apparent random attack. A law enforcement officer from an unidentified agency witnessed the fight and heard the shot, enabling police to quickly detain a suspect.

A portrait of Stanley as a troubled inner-city teen-ager has emerged from interviews with neighbors and from the detailed court records, which contain interviews the youth had with psychiatrists, homicide detectives and counselors.

Stanley was raised by his mother, who told counselors she doesn't know why her son turned to drugs.

According to the records, the youth said he wasn't afraid of prison and recounted several fights he got into while apparently protecting his cellmate when in jail facing a gun charge.

"He has the appearance of being casual and nonchalant," psychiatrists wrote in one report. "When discussing his three arrests the patient showed no signs of sympathy or remorse.

"He is able to name President Clinton and President Bush and the mayor of Baltimore," the doctors wrote. "He is able to spell 'world' both forwards and backwards. His immediate memory is intact, and he can recall three out of four objects after four minutes."

But, according to the court records, Stanley failed the first, third and seventh grades. He missed 80 days while enrolled at Lombard Middle School during the 1994-1995 school year. He reads at the second-grade level, spells at first-grade level and has seventh-grade math skills.

Stanley's relatives admitted that he was a drug dealer who had occasionally carried a gun but said they were shocked to find him accused of murder.

His mother and an aunt characterized him as a "quiet, good person" who dropped out of Lombard Middle School a couple of years ago and began hanging on the corners near their East Baltimore rowhouse, peddling drugs.

His mother -- who didn't want to be named -- once turned him in to police because she saw him with a gun and "told him to stop selling those drugs before he got locked up," said his aunt, Deborah Oliver, 37.

"But he always denied he was selling, but she knew he was because she saw him on the corner."

Details of his criminal history are sketchy. He has never been convicted of a crime as an adult, but court records show lengthy stays in youth detention, including the Cheltenham Youth Facility, where he was classified as a drug user two years ago.

In April, Stanley was arrested and charged with possession of a pistol -- charges prosecutors dropped in June.

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