2nd suspect arrested in triple slaying Brother of man in custody is charged in killings

October 28, 1997|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Baltimore police arrested a second suspect yesterday in the triple slaying last month at a Park Heights Avenue rowhouse -- the brother of a man in custody in the stabbings.

Tony Ratchford, 35, of the 4500 block of Derby Manor Drive was charged with three counts of first-degree murder. He was questioned yesterday afternoon by homicide detectives before he was taken to the Central Booking and Intake Center.

The Sept. 27 slayings at the two-story rowhouse were particularly brutal, police said. Two men and a woman were found dead in different parts of the house in the 4600 block of Park Heights Ave. Police said each victim had been stabbed several times.

On Saturday, Ratchford's brother, 36-year-old Donnell Ratchford, also of the Derby Manor address, was arrested and charged in the slayings. Investigators would not comment on a possible motive. At least one of the victims knew Donnell Ratchford, police said.

In an unrelated case, police this weekend arrested a teen-ager in the March fatal shootings of two men and the wounding of a third -- all of whom were shot in the back while sitting in a car on North Paca Street.

Investigators said they do not know of a motive for the shootings, but they said at the time that drugs apparently were not involved. None of the victims had a criminal record, according to court files.

Police arrested Donta Brooks, 18, of the 2400 block of S. Paca St. at the Twilight Zone nightclub in Arbutus early Sunday. He was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

Officer Angelique Cook-Hayes, a police spokeswoman, said an arrest warrant also charged Brooks with attempted murder in an unrelated case. Details of that incident were not available yesterday.

Antonio Carberry, 20, of the 3900 block of Maine Ave. in Northwest Baltimore and Jerod Wade, 18, of the 4700 block of Duncrest Ave. in Northeast Baltimore were killed in the March 29 shooting. Wounded was Rafiq Howard, 20, of West Baltimore.

Police said the shooting occurred when the victims pulled up to the curb in a Mercedes in the 200 block of N. Paca St. about 2: 30 a.m. so the driver could talk to a woman. Police said a man driving a white sports utility vehicle stopped behind the car, got out and opened fire on the Mercedes through the back window.

The victims who died were sitting in the back seat. The wounded victim was in the front passenger seat. The 17-year-old driver was not injured.

Detectives in March said the gunman apparently knew the woman to whom the driver of the Mercedes was talking.

Pub Date: 10/28/97

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