Man held in one killing linked to another Suspect is charged in two slayings, including Jan. shooting of cabbie

March 24, 1998|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

Baltimore police who arrested a man in a December slaying uncovered evidence during the weekend linking him to the fatal shooting in January of a 41-year-old cabdriver in Northeast Baltimore, according to court documents.

Charles Mitchell Owens, 23, of the 2800 block of Gatehouse Drive is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the shootings. The victim in the December incident was a 21-year-old accounting student at the University of Baltimore.

The arrest of Owens and a second suspect in the cabdriver's death -- Aaron Dickerson, 23, of the 1000 block of Radnor Ave. -- ends a three-month investigation.

Dickerson, charged with one count of first-degree murder, and Owens were being held without bail yesterday at the Central Booking and Intake Center.

The Checker Cab driver, Samuel Gathunguri-Waweru, a Kenyan immigrant, was shot behind the right ear Jan. 29 in the 3500 block of Labyrinth Road. After the shooting, the cab drifted across Cross Country Boulevard, went down an embankment and into a stream.

The U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service allowed Waweru's wife, a Kenyan national living here illegally, to go to Kenya to bury her husband and then return to the United States to apply for residency.

Mary Gathunguri-Waweru, who had come to the United States in 1987 on a temporary visa and remained in this country, had just completed courses to become a licensed practical nurse. The couple had two children, ages 7 and 8, who attend a city elementary school and are U.S. citizens.

Police said they got a break in Waweru's case while searching for a suspect in the Dec. 21 shooting of Anthony Shelton Lee, whose body was found slumped in his car in the 200 block of S. Fremont Ave.

Court documents filed yesterday said that Lee was shot after setting up a meeting with another man. A homicide detective described the meeting as a "possible illegal drug transaction."

Police said Lee's money, pager, cellular phone and wallet had been stolen. Lee, a West Baltimore native who graduated from Mount St. Joseph High School in 1993, had been expected to graduate from the University of Baltimore in June.

According to court documents, unnamed witnesses told police about the alleged meeting between the suspect and the victim. Homicide detectives obtained an arrest warrant charging Owens in Lee's shooting and went to his Gatehouse Drive home Saturday.

During the interview regarding Lee, police said Owens gave "a taped statement confessing to the shooting of a cab driver, Samuel G. Waweru," the court documents say.

Police said the suspect had gotten into the cab at Reisterstown Plaza in Northwest Baltimore. The slaying occurred a few miles away during what police described as a robbery.

After the interview Saturday, police said they arrested Dickerson at his house.

Pub Date: 3/24/98

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