Court hears description of plot to kill woman

Defendant's ex-roommate speaks of days of planning

23-year-old victim was pregnant

Howard County

October 26, 2004|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,SUN STAFF

The former roommate of the Prince George's County man accused of killing a pregnant woman told jurors yesterday that the man detailed his murder plot, and the roommate afterward helped dispose of the man's clothes, shoes, latex gloves and a handgun.

Rashaun Wall testified before a Howard County Circuit Court jury that Tjane C. Marshall, 28, told him of a plan to kill Shameka Fludd two weeks before she was found fatally shot in her Oakland Mills apartment in early May last year. Prosecutors contend that Marshall was furious that Fludd insisted on having his child.

"He told me he was going to take the [.22-caliber handgun] and he was going to shoot her," Wall testified.

Wall, 21, signed an immunity agreement with authorities in exchange for his testimony against Marshall, who is charged with the first-degree murder of the 23-year-old day care worker. His testimony - a critical part of the state's case - launched the second week of Marshall's trial. Fludd, who had two children, was shot in the head four times; her children were not home at the time.

According to Wall's testimony before Judge Dennis M. Sweeney, Marshall talked about his plan May 3 at their apartment in Forestville. Wall drove Marshall to a rental car location in Virginia, where he rented a black Ford sedan.

Later that day, Wall said, he watched as Marshall packed a bag with spare clothes: a black hooded sweat shirt, black jeans, latex gloves and a .22-caliber revolver.

"I knew what they were for," Wall said. "They were the clothes to go to Shameka's to kill her."

That night, Wall and Marshall drove to a party in Washington about 11:30 p.m. After about a half-hour, Marshall took Wall's car and left the party. Marshall planned to drive back to their apartment and pick up his rental car, Wall said.

Wall caught a ride back to their apartment, where he eventually met Marshall, he said. Marshall and Wall got into Wall's car to drive back to the party, and Marshall began to tell him about the killing, Wall said.

"He told me he shot himself in the foot," Wall said. "He took his shoe off and his sock had a little bit of blood on it."

Wall said that Marshall described how he shot Fludd "three or four times" and then jumped off Fludd's balcony and ran to his car.

Marshall told Wall that "if anything happened" to him, Wall should burn the clothes he had left in the rental car, which was at their apartment, Wall testified. The pair then drove to Virginia to pick up friends, to establish an alibi, he said.

When they returned home, early May 4, Wall drove the rental car to his mother's house, he testified. He grabbed Marshall's clothes, boots and latex gloves from the back seat and burned them in a plastic trash can in an alley behind the house. He then drove about 10 or 15 minutes to the Anacostia River, where he tossed the revolver into the water. A police dive team failed to recover the weapon.

Wall said that he began cooperating with Howard County police detectives in late May, after police used a search warrant to seize $10,000 worth of marijuana at his home.

Upon cross examination, Wall acknowledged that he struck a deal with police to avoid the drug charge, which would have put him in jail if he were convicted. He wore a hidden wire and recorded conversations with Marshall for the police, court records show.

Jurors were also shown close-up photographs of Fludd's head after she had been shot. Dr. Jack Titus, the state's deputy chief medical examiner, testified that Fludd suffered gunshot wounds to her left cheek, mid-forehead and near her right eye. Dark soot marks around the bullet holes indicated that Fludd was shot at close range, Titus said.

Also yesterday, three women - two of whom had each had a child with Marshall - testified in support of Marshall as the defense began presenting its case.

The women described him as a loving, gentle father who was not angry when he learned that they were pregnant years ago. One of the women, Geri West, told jurors that she was with Marshall for several hours on the afternoon of May 3 - she picked him up in Prince George's County, drove to a family party in Baltimore and an Orioles game, and then drove him back - and that he did not appear nervous or agitated.

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