Police seek pair in killing

Information emerges on suspects in Prothero shooting

`It defies logic'

February 12, 2000|By Nancy A. Youssef | Nancy A. Youssef,SUN STAFF

Police continued to search yesterday for the two remaining suspects in the death of a Baltimore County police sergeant, including the alleged triggerman, who was being sought by police at the time of the shooting for escaping from home detention.

Richard Antonio Moore, 29, of the 2000 block of E. Fayette St., escaped from home detention Jan. 11. He had been released from prison Jan. 5 after serving 2 1/2 years for a drug conviction. His brother, Wesley John Moore, 24, of the 2700 block of The Alameda, also was at large yesterday.

Donald Antonio White Jr., 19 -- who was charged with first-degree murder on Thursday in the shooting of Sgt. Bruce A. Prothero -- waived his bail hearing yesterday in Baltimore County District Court in Towson.

White was arrested at the Central Booking and Intake Center in Baltimore, where he had been held since Tuesday for failure to appear in October on two counts of attempted first-degree murder. Court records show he has two other outstanding warrants.

"It defies logic" that White was free, said Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, who testified yesterday in Annapolis on the need to reform the city's court system. "We need to do a better job of serving warrants."

The Moores, White and one other suspect -- Troy White, 23, of the 1000 block of N. Ellamont St., who was arrested Tuesday -- are accused of killing the 35-year-old county police officer during a robbery of J. Brown Jewelers in Pikesville. Prothero was working as a security guard at the store.

Yesterday, the investigation centered on the city. Baltimore County homicide detectives rode with city police officers, some with mug shots of the Moore brothers taped to the patrol car dashboards.

Police said that on Monday, they found a burned 1983 Mercury in the 900 block of Franklin Ave. that was traced to one of the suspects. They said Richard Moore is believed to have fresh burn marks on his face from setting fire to the car. It is one of two cars involved in the robbery, police said.

One man was questioned yesterday about the crime, said Bill Toohey, a county police spokesman. Police pulled over a motorist in a blue Subaru with temporary Washington, D.C., tags at 25th Street and Greenmount Avenue about 10: 30 a.m., but later said he was not connected to the shooting.

Last night, police made public a plea from Mary Moore, mother of the Moore brothers. "Wesley and Tony, please get in touch with me. We, your family, need you to come forward please. I love you. Mom."

New details emerged yesterday about the four men charged in Prothero's shooting.

Donald White has been charged with attempted first- and second-degree murder, assault and a handgun violation stemming from shooting incidents in West Baltimore April 13, in which one man was injured.

He was released on $100,000 bail but failed to appear for trial in October, and an arrest warrant was issued. White was arrested on that warrant Wednesday -- two days after Prothero's killing -- and was in the city booking center when he was identified as one of the suspects in the jewelry store shooting.

Attorney Warren A. Brown represented Donald White last year on drug and handgun charges from 1996. The lawyer said White received probation in that case.

"Unfortunately, nothing distinguished him from the rest of the young guys coming through the criminal system," Brown said yesterday. "He was a junior high school dropout with no skills. He was just kind of kicking around from pillar to post."

Wesley John Moore was charged as an adult with first-degree attempted murder and a handgun violation in 1991, when he was 16, after he shot at a youth in an apartment complex near Chase, according to court records. Baltimore County Circuit Judge John G. Turnbull II granted a request by Moore's lawyer to transfer the case to juvenile court.

The lawyer, Howard Cardin, said in his request that Wesley Moore, at the time a sophomore at Perry Hall High School, should be treated at a juvenile facility.

Two years later, Wesley Moore was convicted on drug charges and placed on five years' probation; he violated that order in 1995.

When the case came before a judge in 1996, he received a five-year suspended sentence that allowed him to continue living with his mother as long as he obtained a General Education Development degree and found a job.

Troy White -- no relation to Donald White -- was supposed to have appeared before his probation officer on the day of the shooting. He had received probation from the city for drug and handgun violations.

Court records also show Troy White was sentenced to three years in 1995 on two counts of felony car theft.

The suspects "should have been in jail, and it shows the problems in our criminal justice system, and somebody's head should roll," said Gary McLhinney, president of the Baltimore Fraternal Order of Police.

Sun staff writers Lynn Anderson, Liz Atwood, Tim Craig, Joan Jacobson, Dennis O'Brien and Gerard Shields and staff researcher Jean Packard contributed to this article.

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