Rahman associate is found killed

Employee of boxer, with minister's daughter, discovered shot in car

March 01, 2002|By Lem Satterfield and Del Quentin Wilber | Lem Satterfield and Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

An employee of former world heavyweight boxing champion Hasim S. Rahman and a mother of three -- a minister's daughter -- were found shot to death early yesterday in the city's Park Heights area, in a car owned by the fighter.

The victims, Oliver L. McCaffity Jr. and Lisa Renee Brown, both 28, were shot in the head and found about 2 a.m. in Rahman's wrecked 1999 Infiniti Q45 in an alley behind the 4500 block of Finney Ave., as police investigated a reported accident. The bodies were sitting in the front seat of the car.

Last night, Brown's father, the Rev. Milton E. Williams, pastor of New Life Evangelical Baptist Church in East Baltimore, was searching for answers and remembering her as an outgoing, energetic mother who brought passion to her job as a systems analyst. She had daughters, ages 9 and 7, and a son, 3.

The news of Brown's death was a blow to the Owings Mills household of Williams, and his wife, Myrtle, who had planned to celebrate their 26th wedding anniversary tomorrow but find themselves planning a funeral.

Williams said his daughter, who lived in the city, and McCaffity had been dating and she told her parents she learned he had been dealing drugs and recently separated from him. But, Williams added, they decided to go to a movie Wednesday night -- hours before they were killed.

Rahman, at his news conference, expressed grief over the death of his employee, whom he called "a good associate," and said people need to focus on the killings, not his fame. "Basically, I'm here today because there was a tragedy last night, one of my employees was murdered," he said. "It's a sad day for me and my family and the victim's family. I basically want to set the record straight that this whole case is bigger than Hasim Rahman.

"Somebody was murdered last night, and I believe that that's where the focus should be," Rahman said. "I don't think the attention should be here on me. We should allow the police to do their job and bring somebody to justice. There are some unsolved homicides out there."

McCaffity was helping Rahman set up a clothing line called "Dreams" and a store on Eutaw Street downtown, the boxer said in an interview.

Rahman said he often let McCaffity use his car but did not know what the man was doing at the time of the shootings.

McCaffity, of the 100 block of Diener Place, was recalled yesterday by relatives as a "good kid" who grew up in West Baltimore, graduated from Forest Park High School in the early 1990s, and loved his 12-year-old daughter and 1-year-old son.

McCaffity had a criminal record. Last month, he was sentenced to three years' probation for conspiracy to distribute cocaine in June 2000.

McCaffity and Brown were the city's 35th and 36th homicide victims of the year.

The minister, who has held rallies against crime and violence, said last night, "Before I was fighting a just cause for others. Now I'm fighting a cause for myself."

He said he didn't know what to tell Brown's oldest child, Shalai, when the girl asked: "Why did my mommy have to die?"

"No matter how much theological training I have, I don't have the answer to that," Williams said.

Rahman won the heavyweight crown in April but lost it in November. The boxer also has a criminal past -- problems he has said he put behind him in the early 1990s, after a judge gave him probation instead of sending him to prison for drug possession.

Sun staff writer Johnathon E. Briggs contributed to this article.

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