In Baltimore City Federal jury convicts man on gun...


October 12, 2001|By FROM STAFF REPORTS

In Baltimore City

Federal jury convicts man on gun charge; he escapes detention

A city man acquitted of murder charges by a jury in Baltimore Circuit Court in the spring was being sought last night after he was convicted of a handgun violation in U.S. District Court, but escaped from a halfway house where he was being held.

Jermaine M. Harris, 23, of the 600 block of N. Ellwood St. was convicted by a federal jury of being a felon in possession of a handgun after a two-day trial before Judge Benson E. Legg. Testimony showed that city police responded to a 911 call May 20, 2000, from someone who saw men armed with handguns near the 1800 block of N. Charles St. Harris was arrested after an officer saw him stash a loaded gun near a drain pipe.

Harris was indicted on murder charges by a city grand jury six weeks later, after ballistics tests showed the gun was used in a homicide a few days before his arrest, according to federal prosecutors. He was acquitted April 12, according to court records.

Harris escaped late Wednesday from the Hope Village halfway house in Washington.

Fire Department official to retire Wednesday

The city Fire Department's spokesman, Battalion Chief Hector L. Torres, announced yesterday that he will retire Wednesday after a 28-year career.

Named spokesman in 1992, Torres was the official voice for the department at hundreds of emergency situations, notable among them the Howard Street Tunnel train derailment and fire in July.

Torres, 49, said he is "seeking a career change." Mayor Martin O'Malley has been searching for a fire chief since February, and Torres applied for the job but is not believed to be among the finalists.

Empowerment zone event to include breakfast, cleanup

A Baltimore empowerment zone celebration of community achievements will take place tomorrow at locations on the city's west side.

Events will include a celebration of the saving of the Washington Village community library in the 900 block of Washington Blvd. from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; food and music from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Franklin Square Park in Poppleton; and a Harlem Park prayer breakfast from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. at Unity United Methodist Church, Edmondson Avenue and Stricker Street, which will be followed by a neighborhood cleanup.

Another event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at St. Peter Claver Church, 1546 N. Fremont Ave., where a parade will be followed by musical performances and food.

Teen, unidentified man killed in two shootings

A Parkville teen-ager was shot in the back of the head and killed in East Baltimore early yesterday by a man who approached him on a bicycle - one of two slayings in the city, police said.

Alberto M. Johnson, 17, of the 7200 block of Sindall Road was standing in the 900 block of Mc- Aleer Court about 12:45 a.m. when he was shot once with a handgun, police said. The gunman fled on the bicycle.

Police said they knew of no motive and had no suspect.

In another case, police were investigating the shooting of an unidentified man whose body was found about 4:30 p.m. in an alley behind the 4100 block of Fairfax Road in Forest Park. Detective Robert Cherry said the man was found by officers responding to a 911 call of shots fired.

In Baltimore County

Ex-broker must pay $391,000 for fraud

TOWSON - A Baltimore County Circuit Court judge has ordered former investment broker Michael P. Keating to pay lawyers' fees, damages and compensation totaling $391,000 to the estate of Charles E. Dolle for a fraudulent investment scheme.

Dolle, who died in 1997, was one of 16 Baltimore County plaintiffs who sued Keating for investing their money in speculative securities against their wishes.

Thomas C. Costello, lawyer for Dolle's estate, said Judge Alfred L. Brennan Sr. entered a judgment of fraud this week because Keating did not appear in court to contest the charges. Keating's whereabouts are unknown.

Roberts named principal of Woodlawn Middle

Jerilyn C. Roberts, who was named acting principal at Woodlawn Middle School days before the start of classes, was named its principal last night.

The county school board unanimously named Roberts to the post. Until last school year, she was assistant principal at Lansdowne Middle School.

Willie M. Foster was originally named principal of the school, but due to an illness never showed up for work. Effective Nov. 1, Foster will retire and Roberts formally assumes the job.

3 child identification days are planned this month

TOWSON - The Baltimore County sheriff's office is sponsoring three child identification days for parents to have their children photographed and fingerprinted for an identification safety record.

The first will be held from 10 a.m. to noon tomorrow at Home Depot in White Marsh, 9955 Pulaski Highway. The second will be 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Home Depot in Lansdowne, 3750 Commerce Drive. The final one is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Safeway in North Plaza Mall, Waltham Woods and Joppa roads.

Rally to support research of breast cancer is today

TOWSON - Turn Baltimore County Pink, a rally to support breast cancer research, will be held at noon today in the County Courthouse Plaza, 400 Washington Ave.

County Executive C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, County Health Officer Dr. Michelle Leverett, and Robyn Prothro, executive director of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, will speak. The event is intended to promote tomorrow's "Race for the Cure," a national benefit for breast cancer research.

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