Assault suspect charged in slaying from late 1980s City resident, 38, accused in death of man whose body was found in 1987

September 26, 1998|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A 38-year-old man accused in a sexual assault in May was charged yesterday in an 11-year-old slaying of a homeless man whose body was found hidden behind bushes near a West Baltimore park.

Sylvester Robert Kemp of the 1100 block of Druid Hill Ave. was being held without bail yesterday at the Central Booking and Intake Center. He is charged with first-degree murder in the 1987 strangulation of Claxton Hughes.

Police said the Hughes slaying near a small park on Paca Street was similar to the assault in May, in which he is charged with assault and sodomy.

Police declined to release any details of that attack, including the age of the victim and the location of the attack.

Hughes' body was discovered by a teen-age girl on April 18, 1987. It was lying under bushes next to a brick wall in the 600 block of Paca St., and his head had been covered with a jacket. Cooper said he had been strangled, beaten and sodomized.

Police said that Hughes, 55, was homeless when he was killed, and that they did not find his relatives to tell them about the death. Police said they believe he came from Georgia.

Since 1982, Kemp has been convicted of battery, resisting arrest, trespassing in parks, and perverted sexual practice, according to court records. All were misdemeanors, and the longest he spent in jail was one year on a battery conviction, the records show.

Kemp has not been assigned a lawyer, and relatives could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Pub Date: 9/26/98

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