Man confesses to '93 slaying of 2 women But he, accomplice face lengthy sentences in New York for robberies

July 29, 1998|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

It's been five years since Georgia Hill and Michelle Alston were shot and killed near their West Baltimore apartment. But it's only in the past two weeks that city police say they learned of suspects and a motive.

A man convicted in a string of armed robberies at New York jewelry stores confessed to the Baltimore slayings and told federal prosecutors that he and an accomplice shot the women by accident as they chased a drug dealer who owed them money, police and prosecutors said yesterday.

The man they were chasing escaped unharmed, said Detective William Cole of the homicide unit's Cold Case Squad, which investigates old, hard-to-solve killings.

Police identified the slaying suspects as Audley Facey, 22, of the block of McDowell Lane in Halethorpe, Baltimore County, and David Gregory, 36, of an unknown address in Essex. Both have been convicted of four robberies in New York.

Baltimore prosecutors decided not to charge them in the shootings because of the lengthy time in prison they may spend in New York.

Facey got 80 years without parole; Gregory is to be sentenced later to life in prison without parole, his lawyer and prosecutors said.

"How much more time could we get them?" asked Assistant State's Attorney Mark P. Cohen. "With the amount of time each is getting, I don't think that bringing them to Baltimore to try the case would be productive."

The shootings have been "cleared by exception," an official way of noting that the case has been closed without filing charges. Cohen said that murder charges could be filed should either defendant win an appeal and be released from prison.

Facey's New York lawyer, Kenneth Paul, refused to discuss any aspect of his client's case.

Gregory's lawyer, Harry Batchelder, said he is surprised to learn that Facey apparently cooperated with federal prosecutors, particularly since Facey fought the New York robbery cases at trial.

Batchelder said he could not comment on the slayings because he had not heard about them before a reporter called. But he said his client, whom he is representing at sentencing, "is never going to see the light of day."

Hill, 49, and Alston, 31, were shot May 19, 1993, outside an apartment they shared in the 1400 block of W. Saratoga St.

Alston was shot once in the chest while sitting on her front steps; Hill was shot four times in the chest in a hallway near her apartment.

The victims were the 127th and 128th people to be killed in what would become the most murderous year on record in Baltimore, with 353 slayings.

Baltimore police said their investigation got a boost when Assistant U.S. Attorney Andy Frich, assigned to the Brooklyn, N.Y., office, interviewed Facey, who told him about a 1993 shooting in which two women died.

"He said he and the other suspect had dealt drugs in West Baltimore," said Agent Angelique Cook-Hayes, a Baltimore police spokeswoman.

"They attempted to collect money owed to them by a male who had been dealing for them. They chased the male, shooting at him, and as they were chasing the guy, they shot two females by accident."

Frich declined to comment yesterday, and relatives of the victims could not be reached.

Pub Date: 7/29/98

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