Teens slip monitors, are held in killings

Youths cut off anklets for home detention on juvenile offenses

All 3 now face murder charges

July 31, 2002|By Del Quentin Wilber | Del Quentin Wilber,SUN STAFF

Three Baltimore teens have been charged as adults in separate killings this year after breaking away from electronic monitoring devices that were supposed to keep them detained at home for juvenile offenses, law enforcement officials said yesterday.

In one case, Eugene Edwards, 14, cut off his monitor and roamed the streets for several months before being arrested again and sent to live with his grandmother without the monitor in January. He is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting of an 18-year-old man the next day.

In another, the mother of Armad Cloude, 14, told detectives in May that her son had removed his monitor and walked away, saying he "wasn't staying at home anymore," police reports show. Cloude is accused of fatally shooting a 17-year-old boy two days later during a botched robbery attempt.

Margaret T. Burns, a spokeswoman for Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy, said the youths "are violent offenders who need to be removed from the community because they are a serious threat to public safety."

Burns declined to comment on the boys' juvenile records but said prosecutors routinely urge judges to place youths facing charges involving drugs and violence in juvenile facilities.

Lee Towers, a department spokesman, also declined to comment on the cases, citing confidentiality rules.

But Towers said that the monitoring program has been successful and that 75 percent to 80 percent of the 27,000 youths who have been detained at home since 1995 have not committed other offenses while being monitored.

It is unclear what juvenile justice officers did after the three juveniles removed their electronic monitors.

A third youth, Tyrone Beane, cut off his monitor and is charged in the killing of an East Baltimore man. The case received extensive publicity and highlighted flaws in the juvenile justice system.

Beane, 17, of the 700 block of Wharton Court, consistently ducked juvenile officers and had been charged with assault shortly before he is alleged to have shot and killed Taharka McCoy, 25, in January.

The earlier attack, in which Beane was accused of beating a man with a handgun and sticking it in his mouth, occurred days before the youth appeared in juvenile court for a hearing and was sent home with an electronic monitor.

Though a juvenile justice probation officer knew of the recent arrest, she did not tell prosecutors or the judge. Prosecutors said they would have urged the judge to detain Beane in a juvenile facility had they known about the assault.

Beane has also been charged in the shooting death of a 17-year-old boy in July 2001.

All three youths had significant juvenile records, according to law enforcement officials.

Edwards of the 2000 block of E. Chase St. has been arrested several times on juvenile assault and drug charges, officials said.

In October, he was sent home to be monitored with an electronic anklet after being arrested on robbery, theft and drug charges, officials said. But on Nov. 13, Edwards cut off the anklet and ran away. He was arrested on drug charges Jan. 12 and sent to live with his grandmother that night by juvenile justice officers - this time without a monitor, officials said.

Edwards and three others are accused of killing Davon Walton, 18, during a robbery the next day in the 900 block of Patterson Park Ave.

After the killing, Edwards went to stay at the home of a friend, Kennard Hamilton, 15, who is also charged with first-degree murder in Walton's death, police said.

Hamilton's mother, Adrian Cator, told detectives that she knew Edwards was supposed to be staying at home with an electronic monitor and did not want him in her house.

"He cut the home monitor box off his leg and was running from the police," according to a handwritten account Cator gave detectives.

But Cator said she allowed him to stay because Edwards, nicknamed "Man-Man," was "nervous and acting real different."

The next day, Cator went to a supermarket. When she returned, Edwards helped her carry the groceries and told her that he had killed someone the day before, Cator wrote.

Cloude of the 2000 block of Robb St. has been charged several times with dealing and attempting to distribute drugs. He was committed in December to the Charles H. Hickey Jr. School in Baltimore County, a maximum-security facility for juvenile offenders.

Cloude was evaluated by counselors with the school's Impact Program, which is designed to change troublesome behavior. Counselors wrote in a report to juvenile justice officials that Cloude did not take the school's program seriously. "Armad's progress ... has been very poor!" they wrote in the February report.

The counselors wrote that Cloude "did not become focused on the program and there was no improvement in his behavior."

Cloude accumulated 63 "negative Student Behavior Reports," the counselors wrote. "Sometimes Armad acquired three and four negative reports in one day," they wrote, including 26 for not listening to staff directives.

Despite the poor review and Cloude's admission that he drank alcohol four times a week and smoked marijuana every day, the counselors recommended to justice officials that the boy be sent home to his mother.

He was then put on electronic monitoring, officials said.

Cloude, who was shot and wounded in November, was abducted on May 4 at gunpoint, forced into a van by several men and robbed of $50, police said. The robbers beat Cloude and took most of his clothes.

On May 14, detectives investigating the robbery tried to find Cloude at his home, but his mother told them that her son had cut off his anklet and run away, according to a police report. He is accused of killing 17-year-old Corey Mason two days later.

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