Suspect in officer's death denied bail

U.S. marshal's office joins search for alleged shooter

reward raised to $35,000

July 07, 2004|By Ryan Davis | Ryan Davis,SUN STAFF

The search for the man who Baltimore police believe shot and killed Officer Brian D. Winder continued yesterday, as the second suspect in the case was ordered held without bail.

Also yesterday, prosecutors said both suspects likely would have thought they were wanted by police at the time of the shooting.

Winder, 36, was shot three times Saturday night inside and outside a West Baltimore liquor store.

Police have said the 10-year veteran responded to a domestic violence complaint nearby and set out searching for Jermaine A. Gaines, the man who prompted the 911 call. When Winder encountered Gaines and Charles Bennett outside the liquor store in the 4600 block of Edmondson Ave., the two men went inside.

Winder entered the store and asked each of the men for his identification before he was shot, police said.

Gaines was arrested at the liquor store Saturday night by another officer, police said.

During a bail review hearing yesterday morning at Central Booking and Intake Center, District Judge Jeannie J. Hong ordered that Gaines be held without bail. He is charged with first-degree murder.

Gaines, 31, of the 800 block of N. Mount St., was represented at the hearing by public defenders. He left the hearing to prevent being drawn by a sketch artist.

Hong also ordered that Gaines be held on $50,000 bail in connection with a domestic incident in August 2000. His girlfriend requested the warrant that year, though prosecutors said yesterday that it was unclear whether the warrant was entered into the computer database that would have allowed police to serve it.

Court documents allege that Gaines slapped his girlfriend's face Aug. 31, 2000, and told her that he planned to bury her entire family.

Gaines has identified Bennett as the shooter in Winder's death, according to court documents. During his interview with detectives, Gaines said he was stunned by the killing.

Gaines said he was armed with a 9 mm handgun at the time of the shooting but didn't fire it, according to court documents. The gun was recovered by police at the liquor store.

Detectives have not ruled out the possibility that Gaines fired shots, but they have accused Bennett of firing at least some of the shots.

Both suspects have extensive criminal records, including felony convictions. Bennett, 33, also had an outstanding arrest warrant at the time of the shooting.

Bennett was charged in April with animal cruelty in connection with alleged dog-fighting. Prosecutors said he showed up for his District Court trial June 3 but left at lunch. A failure-to-appear warrant was issued for his arrest, and police visited his house in an effort to arrest him as recently as last week, said Margaret T. Burns, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore state's attorney's office.

The search for Bennett is being led by the Police Department's warrant apprehension task force, a multijurisdictional unit, said Lt. Joseph R. Conway.

The U.S. marshal's office is also helping in the search, police spokesman Matt Jablow said. Police have said it is likely that Bennett is in Baltimore, but they have also raised the possibility that he has fled to the Washington area.

Police increased yesterday the reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Bennett from $30,000 to $35,000.

Sun staff writer Richard Irwin contributed to this article.

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