Two men convicted in 2001 Waverly killings

Pair could face life terms without chance of parole

September 14, 2002|By Laurie Willis | Laurie Willis,SUN STAFF

Baltimore prosecutors announced first-degree murder convictions yesterday against two men accused in a February 2001 triple homicide in Waverly that also left one man paralyzed.

Otis Edwards, 27, and Wayne Mitchell, 24, were convicted in the shooting deaths of Tony Blizzard Jr., 18, Jamal Fisher, 18, and Donte Weddington, 25.

Police did not reveal a motive in the shootings, although Waverly residents speculated that the killings were likely in retaliation for the shooting deaths six days earlier of Dontai Edwards, 21, and Brandon Wilkins, 25. Dontai Edwards was Otis Edwards' brother.

Otis Edwards and Mitchell also were found guilty of numerous other charges, said Assistant State's Attorney Paul Budlow. Sentencing hearings for the men are scheduled for Nov. 19 and 20 before Circuit Judge M. Brooke Murdock. Budlow said prosecutors would ask for life sentences, without the chance of parole, on the first-degree murder charges.

Fisher, Weddington and Timothy James were in a parked car shortly before 11 p.m. Feb. 24, 2001, when shots were fired, police said. Blizzard, who had been standing outside the car, was pronounced dead at the scene. James, then 18, was paralyzed in the attack. A fourth man in the car, whose name is being withheld by The Sun to protect his safety, was not injured.

The second round of shootings - across the street from where Dontai Edwards and Wilkins were killed - sparked fear in Waverly residents, prompting some to consider moving. "We're happy in every homicide conviction, and we try to treat every murder the same," Budlow said outside Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse. "But in this case, Otis Edwards and Wayne Mitchell are two dangerous men. We're happy with the jury's verdict, and we're happy that they're going to be off the streets for a long time."

Jurors listened to 6 1/2 days of testimony before deliberating for about 2 1/2 hours Thursday and 1 1/2 hours yesterday, Budlow said.

Mitchell also has a murder charge pending in Anne Arundel County, Budlow said.

He has been charged in a January 2001 arson and shooting in Anne Arundel County that killed Andre D. Samuel, 26, and critically burned his grandmother, Rhunette J. Fisk, 64, authorities say.

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