City teen, 15, pleads not guilty in attack

Sept. 13 trial date given in birthday party beating

July 23, 2004|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore teen charged in the near-fatal attack on a 12-year-old girl at a February birthday party pleaded not guilty yesterday, three months after her mother was arrested on charges that she hid her daughter from police.

Seletta Broaddus, 15, was arraigned in Circuit Court and given a Sept. 13 trial date. She is charged with first-degree attempted murder, assault and reckless endangerment.

Broaddus will be tried on the same date as four other co-defendants charged as adults in the attack on Nicole Ashley Townes. All five are being held without bail.

Nicole, who was in a coma for three months, is recovering faster than authorities expected, said Assistant State's Attorney Julie Drake.

"She can now walk and recognize people," Drake said. "She slowly continues to progress."

Police say the motivation for the attack was that a boy kissed Nicole at the West Baltimore party.

Broaddus was not arraigned with her co-defendants because she was arrested more than a month after them. Prosecutors say her mother helped her evade police in March and early April.

Police arrested Broaddus April 13, and days later charged her mother, Robinette Budd, 35, with harboring a fugitive, a misdemeanor.

Budd was released from jail on $20,000 bail and is to be arraigned Aug. 12.

Similarly, the father of one of the juveniles charged in the incident has a warrant out for his arrest on the charge of harboring a fugitive. Kevin Lionel Baldwin, 36, of the 4100 block of Mariban Court has not been apprehended, prosecutors said. However his daughter, whose name is being withheld because she is a juvenile, was arrested and charged.

The teen and another juvenile charged in the attack have entered the equivalent of guilty pleas and are committed to the Department of Juvenile Services.

According to court documents, Broaddus, a guest at the party, got involved in the Feb. 28 beating after she saw several people hitting Nicole. Broaddus joined in after saying, "This [girl] ain't bleeding," records show.

She then attacked Nicole's head with her boot heel, according to police. Broaddus, who prosecutors say has no prior record, is accused of stomping Nicole with three other teens. Nicole's sister, Brenda Bailey, 11, was also beaten but had less serious injuries.

Monique Baldwin, 36, the mother of the birthday girl, is accused of starting the beating. Others charged in the attack are Monique Baldwin's cousin, Erin Baldwin, 20; her niece, Temprest Baldwin, 14; and Kenya Keene, 24, who lived with Nicole.

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