Man pleads guilty to killing 3 in separate robberies

May 26, 1999|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A man pleaded guilty yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court to killing three people, including a cab driver and an accounting student at the University of Baltimore, in unrelated robberies in late 1997 and early 1998.

Charles Mitchell Owens, 24, of the 2800 block of Gatehouse Drive in Northwest Baltimore pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder just minutes before the start of his jury trial, said Assistant State's Attorney Althea Handy.

Sentencing is set for July 1 in front of Judge John N. Prevas. Handy said Owens will likely be imprisoned for life plus 25 years.

Owens was convicted in the Oct. 23, 1997, shooting of Duwane Baker, 25, who was killed in a robbery in the 1600 block of N. Hilton St. Two others have been found guilty in that murder -- one is serving life plus 40 years and other life with all but 50 years suspended.

In December 1997, prosecutors said Owens shot Anthony Shelton Lee, 21, the student, whose body was found slumped over the wheel of his car in the 200 block of S. Fremont Ave. Police said his wallet, cell phone and pager had been stolen.

A month later, Owens robbed and killed Checker Cab driver Samuel Gathunguri-Waweru, a 41-year-old Kenyan immigrant, in Northwest Baltimore, prosecutors said. He was shot behind the ear as he sat behind the wheel in the 3500 block of Labyrinth Road.

Pub Date: 5/26/99

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