Suspect in slaying arrested in New York Woman, 91, was stabbed to death in her home

September 05, 1998|By Michael James | Michael James,SUN STAFF

The hunt for a man wanted in the stabbing death June 30 of a 91-year-old Baltimore woman ended with his capture at a telephone booth in New York City, the FBI said yesterday.

Christopher Mills, 25, was arrested late Thursday at West 54th Street and Broadway after a series of call-in leads enabled federal agents to track him down, said Special Agent Peter A. Gulotta Jr., an FBI spokesman in Baltimore.

"We had a lot of tips about where he was," Gulotta said. "We had tracked him through three states, including Maryland, Florida and New York."

Mills, a parolee from Baltimore, may have been "living like a street person" for part of the past two months, Gulotta said. At one point, police and the FBI used a patrol boat and a helicopter to try and spot him at homeless enclaves along Baltimore's harbor.

Mills is charged with first-degree murder in the slaying of Leona G. Klimm, who was found repeatedly stabbed in her home in the Brooklyn neighborhood in Baltimore. Police said they believe the motive was robbery.

Mills lived a block away from the woman in the 3500 block of Sixth St. His roommate, Carlos Ray Halcomb, 25, also is charged with first-degree murder in Klimm's death.

In early July, Mills was seen in the Butchers Hill neighborhood in Southeast Baltimore before he dropped out of sight, police said. The FBI coordinated a search with the Maryland Joint Violent Crime Fugitive Task Force, a squad of local, state and federal agents.

It is unclear how long Mills had been in New York or what he might have been doing there, the FBI said. He was talking on the telephone when federal and New York City officers arrested him.

Mills was being held yesterday in the Metropolitan Correctional Institution in New York City awaiting extradition to Maryland.

David R. Knowlton, the special agent in charge of the Maryland-Delaware division of the FBI, credited the fugitive task force with locating Mills. Since 1992, Knowlton said, the task force has arrested more than 2,500 people wanted on charges of assault, robbery, rape and murder.

"It's been highly successful," Knowlton said. "It's had a significant impact in getting violent criminals off the street."

At the time of Klimm's death, Mills was on parole on a theft conviction. After his release on parole, he was convicted on a drug charge, a development that should have led to the revocation of his parole.

Because of a possible error in Maryland Division of Parole and Probation records, the parole was not revoked, and Mills only served 30 days in jail on the drug charge. Parole and probation officials said they are investigating how the possible error may have occurred.

Mills was charged with murder in 1991 in a much-publicized case but was acquitted. He and two other teen-agers were charged with bludgeoning a man to death in Patterson Park after they allegedly flew into a rage because they suspected the man was homosexual.

Pub Date: 9/05/98

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