Teen charged in killing of taxi driver in Harford

Tips from community helped lead to arrest, sheriff's department says

December 12, 2004|By Doug Donovan and William Wan | Doug Donovan and William Wan,SUN STAFF

A 17-year-old was charged yesterday in the fatal shooting of a Harford County cabdriver and father of nine who was killed last week in his taxi a block from his home.

Police, acting on tips, discovered Wayne Lavon Bond on Friday at a house in the 1700 block of Dearwood Court in Edgewood. Police said they do not know Bond's permanent address.

He was arrested on disorderly conduct charges after a dispute with sheriff's deputies as they searched the home, said Edward Hopkins, spokesman for the Harford County Sheriff's Office. Bond was being held without bail at the Harford County Detention Center.

By 3 a.m. yesterday, detectives had gathered enough evidence -- including a handgun -- to charge Bond with first-degree murder in the death of Derald Howard Guess. Bond was charged as an adult. Police would not disclose a motive but said the possibility of robbery is being considered.

"The public was very helpful," Hopkins said. "We had a stand-up father of nine killed near Christmas when he's working to make money for his family."

Hopkins said the community responded with many tips and that the Harford County sheriff's office deployed extra resources to pursue leads. Hopkins also said some of the tips were generated by people who said Bond had told them about the killing.

Police said they learned that Bond had fled to a house on Dearwood Court shortly after the shooting. By Friday night, police had gathered enough information to execute a search-and-seizure warrant at the house.

Police recovered clothes at the house and found a handgun in the back yard of a nearby townhouse. The clothes and the gun matched what witnesses said they saw at the scene of the shooting, Hopkins said.

Detectives told the Guess family yesterday morning that Bond had been arrested.

"I'm glad they caught him," said Mike Guess, 18, the second-eldest of Guess' children. "But it doesn't change what happened. It doesn't change his absence."

Guess, 37, of the 600 block of Yorkshire Drive in Edgewood, was found shot in the head inside his cab at 12:45 a.m. Monday. He had been responding to a 12:30 a.m. call in the Harford Square townhouse community, one block from where he lived with his wife and children.

Guess' United Sedan company cab crashed in the front yard of a townhouse after hitting a parked pickup truck in the 1500 block of Harford Square Drive.

Hopkins said he could not say if the shooter is believed to have been inside the cab or not, and that police do not know who called for the taxi.

"A lot of bad things happen to good people," Mike Guess said. "But everyone in the family is at peace. His legacy is going to live on."

Guess had spent eight years in the Army. His family said he spent most of his military service at Aberdeen Proving Ground, where he recently ministered to troubled youths.

Funeral services for Guess will be held Wednesday at New Covenant Church of God in Bel Air, where Guess was a member the past three years. Visitation begins at 9 a.m. Services will be held at 10:30 a.m., and Guess will be buried at 2:30 p.m. at Garrison Forest Veterans Cemetery in Owings Mills.

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