Arrest made in death of student

Suspect in stabbing apprehended near scene of attack

May 28, 2000|By Tim Craig | Tim Craig,SUN STAFF

Baltimore police have arrested a suspect in last week's killing of Christian W. Ludwig, the University of Maryland dental student stabbed to death after chasing a man who had stolen a friend's purse.

David Edward Terry, 38, of the 800 block of W. Pratt St. was arrested and charged with first-degree murder Friday, police said yesterday. He is being held, with a bail hearing scheduled this week.

Sgt. Scott Rowe, a police department spokesman, said homicide detectives arrested Terry about 1 a.m. Friday morning as he was walking in the 200 block of Emory St. -- the same block where Ludwig was killed on May 21.

Police made the arrest public yesterday evening; Rowe had no explanation why the information was not released sooner.

Rowe said Terry was wearing clothes -- a blue jacket bearing a white emblem -- that matched the description of those worn by the assailant on the night of the stabbing. Police confirmed yesterday that a knife recovered last week near the crime scene was the one used in Ludwig's slaying.

"Alleged criminals are creatures of habit," Rowe said. "It does happen -- criminals do go back to the area where they commit the crime."

Homicide detectives had visited the crime scene early Friday morning to seek possible witnesses and check lighting and other factors that could aid their investigation, Rowe said.

After Terry was detained, Rowe said, he was identified by an eyewitness to the attack on Ludwig.

Terry, who lives five blocks away from the spot where Ludwig was slain, had been charged on March 3 for with aggressive panhandling, but the charges were not prosecuted. He is also awaiting trial on a May 1 misdemeanor theft charge.

Ludwig was walking to his Ridgelys Delight home in the 600 block of Portland St. with a female classmate early on the morning of May 20 when a man stripped the woman of her purse.

Ludwig, who was killed four days before he was to graduate from dental school, chased the suspect and was stabbed during a struggle.

Born in Freiburg, Germany, he moved with his family to Chicago at age 3. His father is the executive chef at a Hilton Hotel in Chicago.

Ludwig, who enjoyed running, skiing and snowboarding, came to Maryland as an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he graduated in 1996 near the top of his class. He entered graduate school at the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus.

His killing stunned the quiet Ridgelys Delight community in southwest Baltimore and forced the University of Maryland and city police to increase patrols in the area.

Yesterday, residents said they were relieved to learn a suspect had been apprehended, but said they are now much more wary of crime.

"I hope the neighborhood returns to normal," said Kimberly Cross, 27, who lives two doors away from the suspect on Emory Street. "I have not been going out."

Cross and several other neighborhood residents said they did not know Terry, who lives in a brick rowhouse across from the B&O Railroad Museum.

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