Police arrest man suspected in student's stabbing death

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 afternoon, police said yesterday.

Sgt. Scott Rowe, a Police Department spokesman, said homicide detectives apprehended 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.

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 canvass for witnesses and check lighting and other factors that could aid their investigation, Rowe said.

After he was detained, Rowe said Terry was identified by an eyewitness to the attack on Ludwig. Terry was charged after detectives interviewed him, Rowe said.

Police made the arrest public yesterday evening; Rowe had no official explanation why the information was not released sooner. Rowe said police are investigating whether Terry is connected to any other purse snatchings or crime in the Ridgelys Delight area.

Terry, who lived five blocks away from the spot where Ludwig was slain, had been arrested about 10 times since 1990 on charges including aggressive panhandling and theft.

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