Two fugitive suspects in Prothero shooting believed to be in area

Police have received `many tips' about Moore brothers

February 18, 2000|By David Nitkin and Nancy A. Youssef | David Nitkin and Nancy A. Youssef,SUN STAFF

Investigators are focusing on the Baltimore area in the search for two remaining suspects in the fatal shooting of a county police officer, Baltimore County Police Chief Terrence B. Sheridan said yesterday.

Police asked for FBI assistance this week in the hunt for Richard Antonio Moore, 29, and his brother, Wesley John Moore, 24, in the event the two men had left the state.

But at a news conference yesterday at which county officials outlined the lengthy criminal histories of the Moore brothers and two other suspects in the shooting, Sheridan said police believe the Moore brothers are still in Maryland.

"Talking to the detectives in charge of this investigation within the last hour, they do believe they are still in the Baltimore area," Sheridan said.

He said he was not aware of any friends or relatives of the Moore brothers outside the state.

Police made two arrests soon after the shooting Feb. 7 of Sgt. Bruce A. Prothero, slain while working an off-duty assignment at a Pikesville jewelry store. Troy White, 25, was arrested Feb. 8, and Donald Antonio White Jr., 19, was captured two days later. The two men are unrelated.

Since then, the trail has not grown cold, Sheridan said.

"We are still receiving many tips about the Moore brothers," he said. "We are actively looking for them along with every police and law enforcement agency in the Baltimore metropolitan area.

"We are very concerned about the potential for them harming somebody else. We do have people working around the clock on that."

Officials plan to announce today that they will set up an automated system for calling four city and two county neighborhoods where police believe residents may know the Moore brothers' whereabouts. The system will dial individual numbers and ask anyone who has seen the suspects to call police. The neighborhoods are on the city's east and west sides, and in eastern Baltimore County.

At the news conference, Sheridan and County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger used Donald Antonio White, who had three outstanding arrest warrants on the day of his arrest, to show how slowly the criminal justice system sometimes works.

"He was arrested at age 17" on drug and handgun charges, Sheridan said. "He wasn't sentenced until two years and three months after the incident."

Sentencing "has to be swift," he said. "There have to be consequences to these acts. It can't be two years and three months later."

Stuart O. Simms, secretary of the Department of Safety and Correctional Services, has ordered his agency to review the four suspects' cases. Preliminary results of that investigation show that Wesley John Moore has had no contact with a probation officer since August 1998, even though he was supposed to have had twice monthly meetings until September 2000, said Len Snipes, an agency spokesman.

Sheridan and Ruppersberger said all four suspects had longer criminal histories than have been reported, but that officials could not release juvenile and other protected records.

Sheridan said that there is a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the Moore brothers, and that the two men should be considered armed and dangerous.

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