Suspect sought in killing of homeless man

Warrant issued in beating that occurred in April behind plaza on West St.

One of four unsolved homicides

24-year-old might have left the city, police say


October 10, 2003|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,SUN STAFF

Annapolis police announced yesterday that they have issued an arrest warrant for a suspect in the fatal beating of a homeless man in April -- one of the city's four homicides this year, all of which are unsolved.

Police are searching for Jesus Rojas Olivera, 24, who lives in the 400 block of Captain's Circle, but he may have left the city.

"This is a classic example of good detective work," said Lt. Eric Neutzling, deputy commander of the Police Department's criminal investigation division. "From patrol officers to detectives, everyone pitched in."

Olivera is accused of fatally beating Alfonso Victoriano Serrano, 55, in a wooded lot behind a plaza in the 2000 block of West St. The assault was so severe that it fractured Serrano's skull and broke his teeth, police said.

Serrano's body was found April 17 in an area that local merchants describe as a gathering place for people to use drugs and drink alcohol. Serrano, a legal, documented Mexican national, had lived on the streets of Annapolis for at least five years.

Police said several witnesses told them they had seen Serrano with Olivera in the hours before his death. Olivera gave officers several inconsistent statements, police said.

During a search of Olivera's home, officers seized several items that appeared to have blood on them, including a pair of shoes, police said.

Analysts with the Maryland State Police Crime Lab recently determined that blood on the shoes matched Serrano's DNA, police said. But officers have been unable to locate Olivera in recent weeks.

Officials said Olivera is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs 135 pounds. He has a tattoo of the Virgin Mary on his right bicep, and he uses the names "Chewy" and "Yoni H. Perez," police said.

Police are also searching for a local man wanted in connection with another homicide.

Shawn Eric Woodlin, 30, of the first block of Bunche St., is wanted in connection with a fatal shooting Aug. 29 outside American Legion Post 141 on Forest Drive.

Howard Eugene Stevens, 36, of the 300 block of Atwater Drive was shot once in the chest and died in the post's parking lot.

Within days, police had obtained an arrest warrant for Woodlin, who apparently had a continuing dispute with Stevens, but officers have been unable to locate him.

Police have not named suspects in either of this year's other two homicides -- the fatal shooting of a Glen Burnie man on Bowman Court on Aug. 10, and the fatal shooting of another Glen Burnie man at Harbor House in Eastport on Sept. 7.

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 410- 268-4141.

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