Witnesses don't place Cauthorne with Blake Trial in youth's death may reach jury today

September 18, 1997|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

Two defense witnesses told an Anne Arundel County Circuit Court jury yesterday that they never saw Miquel Tavon "Fats" Cauthorne get into a car with the first of three men to go on trial in the death of the 16-year-old.

The youth's bullet-riddled body was found around noon Sept. 2, 1995, on the side of secluded Shot Town Road in Arnold.

The two witnesses said they didn't see Cauthorne, of the 3600 block of West Bay Ave. in Baltimore, among a group that left Baltimore the day before the killing headed to a barbecue about a mile from where the body was discovered.

Nor did they place the defendant, Thomas "Eddie" Blake, 39, of the 1100 block of E. Patapsco Ave. in Baltimore, in a car leaving the cookout.

The remarks are in stark contrast to statements made Tuesday by Jessica Martin, Blake's stepdaughter and a key prosecution witness. No physical evidence links Blake to the crime, but some of Martin's statements have been supported by police testimony.

Blake is accused of first-degree murder and related charges. Martin is also the ex-girlfriend of another man charged in the crime, Jamie Lee Scott, 21, of the 700 block of Bestgate Road in Annapolis. The third man charged is Blake's brother Kenneth Blake, 32, of the 4100 block of Hague Ave. in Baltimore.

Martin testified that the three defendants had fought with Cauthorne the day before the cookout.

In the second day of the trial, defense witness Amy Brian, Kenneth Blake's girlfriend, painted Martin as a liar motivated by hatred.

Martin testified earlier that Thomas Blake's violent behavior toward her mother led her to call police "a couple times." She said the couple's drinking was among reasons she left their home as a teen. In early 1995, she moved in with Scott, Blake's nephew.

Martin admitted she talked to police about Cauthorne's death last year only after her mother took up with Blake again after a separation. Martin said that she feared Blake and that her relationship with Scott was over.

Brian contradicted nearly everything Martin said: She never went with Martin to take Scott's gun in the hope of preventing trouble, Cauthorne was not in the group going to the cookout, and Blake did not go home that night, Brian said.

Martin had testified that Brian went with her to take Scott's gun to avert a shooting. She said Cauthorne left for the cookout with Scott and the Blake brothers but never arrived. Martin said that, on the drive home, the defendant mocked the dying Cauthorne. The cookout was at the home of Blake's aunt Mary Ann Graves and her then-spouse Rodney Graves.

But Rodney Graves, by implication, supported Brian's claim that Blake did not leave his aunt's home. Graves, in the Anne Arundel County Detention Center at the time of the shooting, testified that he returned home the morning of Sept. 3 to get Blake so the men could go crabbing in violation of the terms of his work-release program on theft charges.

The case is expected to go to the jury today, after closing arguments scheduled for this morning.

Pub Date: 9/18/97

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