Details of slaying emerge in testimony

Teen on trial in beating of homeless man in city

November 21, 2003|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore teen who admitted killing a homeless person in a sport he called "bum stomping" offered more gruesome details of the murder yesterday in city Circuit Court, as he testified at the trial of his friend who is also charged with the crime.

Harold "Jay" Waterbury, 19, is on trial on first-degree murder charges in the beating death in April 2001 of Gerald J. Holle, 55, a homeless man living under the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Bridge. Holle was killed by several blows to the head that cracked his skull.

Waterbury's friend, Daniel Ennis Jr., 18, testified this week that he beat up homeless men because he considered them "trash" and that he wanted to clean up his South Baltimore neighborhood.

The attack on Holle was one of a series of assaults on homeless men in South Baltimore between February 2001 and June 2001, police said. Another transient man, George Williams, 46, was also killed. Several others were seriously hurt.

Waterbury and his friends - Ennis and Michael Wayne Farmer - formed a gang in early 2001 called the South Side Flock and the Master Criminal Boys, according to testimony. Their mission was bum stomping, meaning they planned to beat homeless men to force them out of the area, Ennis testified.

The three teens lived like brothers in Waterbury's home in the 1700 block of S. Hanover St. The Waterburys took in Ennis and Farmer because they had been abandoned by their families, according to testimony.

Assistant Public Defender Angela Shelton has portrayed Waterbury as a kind but illiterate young man who suffers from depression and who took his friends into his home when they had no place to live.

Ennis and Farmer have admitted their roles in the attacks and are serving prison terms. Ennis, who pleaded guilty in May to second-degree murder in Holle's death, is serving 20 years for his part in the slaying. Farmer pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Holle and Williams. Farmer, originally from Westmoreland, Kan., was sentenced to two consecutive life prison terms in August.

Ennis testified yesterday that the trio were on their way to Ennis' aunt's house in Westport when they came across Holle and beat him severely, then stomped on him. They took a dollar and change and a pack of cigarettes, according to testimony.

The three then went to the aunt's home, ate a dinner of liver and onions, and returned to the bridge about an hour later, Ennis testified.

"Mike [Farmer] was mad because we didn't get a lot of money off him," Ennis testified. "We went back to finish Mr. Holle, to kill him."

They found Holle, bleeding and terrified, Ennis said. They left him, and police found him dead about a week later, according to testimony.

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