Two Baltimore men convicted in killing of honor student Victim was fatally shot May 1996 while standing in crowd outside club

September 30, 1997|By Ivan Penn | Ivan Penn,SUN STAFF

Two Baltimore men were convicted yesterday of murdering a nationally recognized honor student from Walbrook High School when they fired bullets into a crowd outside a city nightclub.

Terrell J. Neal, 22, and Gary A. Hall, 26, face up to 30 years in prison for second-degree murder when they are sentenced Nov. 24. Jurors did not convict a third defendant, Jermaine A. Jones, 19, and charges were dropped against another suspect, Donnell Harper, 15, who had been charged as an adult.

Neal and Hall were convicted of the fatal shooting of Tyrone Carroll, 18, May 26, 1996, outside the Club Indigo -- a nonalcoholic dance club in Lexington Market.

According to testimony during the trial, the shooting resulted from a dispute that turned into a fight between a group from West Baltimore and another group from East Baltimore. Neal and Hall -- both from the east side -- were said to have gone to their car for a gun and then used it to fire into a crowd of people from the west side.

Carroll -- a member of his school's wrestling, track and football teams and the Westsiders Marching Band -- was in that crowd and was struck by a single bullet in the chest.

"He lost his life to senseless violence," said Vickie L. Wash, an assistant state's attorney, during her closing arguments before the jury. "He was a very good student. He was an athlete. He's dead. His family will never get to see him again."

When police began investigating the case the night of the incident, security officers from the club said they saw a car leaving the scene. Officers pursued the car and found Neal with a .9 mm handgun -- the same type of gun used to kill Carroll.

Further investigation showed gunshot primer residue on both of Neal's hands as well as one of Hall's hands. No gunshot residue was found on Jones' hands.

Still, the defense argued that several shots were fired and no witnesses specifically identified any of the three men.

"This case is a tragedy," said David R. Eaton, one of three defense attorneys. "There's no question that a fine young man died needlessly. But we don't know where that bullet came from."

Carroll was supposed to graduate from Walbrook High in June and was planning to attend the Air Force Academy this fall, said his mother, Nancy Middleton.

A month after his funeral it was announced that he had been named to the national Who's Who Among American High School Students.

At Walbrook High's senior farewell in June, Middleton sat on the stage in her son's place to urge students to join her fight against the violence that has claimed so many of their peers.

Yesterday, Middleton said she was relieved that the incident had some closure.

"It's been a long time," Middleton said. "I'm glad this is over."

Pub Date: 9/30/97

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