4 honored for work in probe of murder

2 detectives, 2 prosecutors recognized for convictions of men in killing of officer

December 29, 2004|By Ryan Davis | Ryan Davis,SUN STAFF

The Baltimore Police Department honored two detectives and two prosecutors yesterday for their work that led to three convictions in the 2002 ambush killing of Detective Thomas G. Newman.

Newman, 37, was attacked outside a Southeast Baltimore tavern in retaliation for his testimony against a relative of one of the killers. The prosecution of his killers ended this month when a third man was found guilty of murder.

During a brief ceremony at police headquarters, acting police Commissioner Leonard D. Hamm presented Detective Corey Alston and Sgt. Richard H. Petrey II with the Bronze Star and Assistant State's Attorneys Matthew Fraling and Donald Giblin with certificates of special appreciation.

"Thank you for not giving up," Hamm told them.

`Some peace'

Deputy State's Attorney Kimberly Morton told Newman's family, "We hope there's some peace and closure for you here today."

The crime scene Alston and Petrey encountered outside Joe's Tavern on Nov. 23, 2002, was "one of the most complex imaginable," wrote Lt. Terrence McLarney in a police memorandum.

"It stretched from the fallen body of Detective Newman through nearby streets and into the maze that is the O'Donnell Heights housing complex," McLarney wrote. "Only two seasoned and accomplished investigators could have made sense of it all."

The investigation included 43 witnesses and 32 pieces of physical evidence, McLarney wrote.

Jovan House was convicted in February of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. He was sentenced to two life terms, one without parole.

Guilty plea

Raymond Saunders pleaded guilty two months ago to the same charges. By doing so, he avoided the death penalty and received two life sentences, one without the possibility of parole.

This month, a jury convicted getaway driver Anthony A. Brown of the same charges. He will be sentenced in February.

"This just renews your faith in the justice system," said Alston, who had known Newman for six years.

Hamm said the ceremony reflected "a new era of cooperation" between the Police Department and the state's attorney's office.

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