News from around the Baltimore region

June 02, 2005


$45,050 spent first day of gun buyback program

At 9 a.m. yesterday, the city's Board of Estimates approved spending $100,000 on the Police Department's gun buyback program.

Nine hours later, the police had spent $45,050 to buy 427 guns, many which are the types used in violent acts throughout Baltimore, police said.

"We think it was a very successful" first day, said Deputy Police Commissioner Marcus Brown.

Brown said the weapons purchased yesterday included a Mac-10 assault rifle, an Uzi and a semi-automatic Ruger handgun.

"Those are the weapons of choice on the streets of Baltimore," Brown said. "We feel we've taken some of them off."

The gun buyback allows people to anonymously turn in firearms at any of the city's nine police district headquarters or to call 311 to schedule a pickup. The program is funded by cash and property seized from drug dealers.

The police are paying cash for guns until June 15 - offering $50 for rifles and shotguns, $100 for handguns and $200 for assault weapons.

- Doug Donovan


Beating death of man, 55, last month ruled homicide

The death of a man found severely beaten May 14 two blocks from his West Baltimore home has been ruled a homicide, city police reported yesterday.

John Kendrick, 55, of the 3700 block of Edmondson Ave. was found suffering from severe head injuries in the 3900 block of Edmondson by officers responding to a report of an injured man. He died May 24 at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, police said.

No arrest has been made, and anyone with information is asked to call homicide Detective Richard Purtell at 410-396-2100.

- Richard Irwin


Con artist to serve 21 years in prison for check fraud

Hugh Wade, a convicted con artist who unsuccessfully defended himself at a check fraud trial in March, was sentenced yesterday in Baltimore Circuit Court to a 21-year prison term.

Circuit Judge Allen L. Schwait had ordered Wade, a 57-year-old Baltimore resident with a 15-year history of convictions for counterfeiting, to act as his own attorney after Wade refused to work with three consecutive lawyers appointed by the court. Wade's hiring and firing of lawyers delayed his trial for almost two years.

Schwait told Wade at the start of the trial that he had a right to dismiss his lawyer, but "no right to disrupt the judicial process."

A jury convicted Wade on April 1 of one count of conspiracy to commit theft, eight counts of identity fraud and about two dozen counterfeiting counts.

Yesterday, Schwait sentenced Wade to consecutive terms of eight years for the theft conviction, five years for one of the identity fraud convictions and eight years for a counterfeit conviction. Sentences on Wade's other convictions are to be served concurrent to the 21 years, Schwait ordered.

- Julie Bykowicz


Man sentenced on gun crimes in fatal shooting of teen

A Baltimore County man who pleaded guilty to federal gun crimes in the fatal shooting of a 17-year-old at his Dundalk home was sentenced to 23 years in prison yesterday. U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr. also sentenced Damon Antoine Gaither, 29, to five years of supervised probation after his release from prison.

Shawn Lee Elkins, who shared a home in the 2000 block of Armco Way with his brother, died in October 1998 after two masked gunmen forced their way into the home, robbed the seven people in the house and fired one shot.

According to court documents, Gaither, Robert Campbell and three others conspired to rob Elkins during a drug deal in his home. Elkins was shot during the robbery and later died. Two other men were convicted earlier in state court on related charges, attorneys said. A fifth man was not charged in return for his cooperation with authorities, according to lawyers involved in the case.

Campbell was previously sentenced to 25 years in prison.

- Matthew Dolan


Mayor, Jessamy to discuss request for budget increase

Mayor Martin O'Malley and Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy are scheduled to meet today to discuss the top prosecutor's request for a larger city allocation to her budget.

Jessamy told the City Council last month that expiring state and federal grants will leave her budget with a $2.2 million hole that she wants the city to fill.

The state's attorney's office is budgeted to receive $22.3 million from the city, a 17 percent increase over this year. The city added an extra $1 million as a one-time cushion to phase out the positions funded by the expiring grants. Jessamy says she needs that amount, plus an additional $1.2 million, added permanently to her budget to maintain adequate staffing levels.

O'Malley said at a news conference yesterday that the city allocations to Jessamy's office have increased nearly 70 percent since fiscal 1999. He did not indicate whether the city was willing to provide her office with more money before his budget is finalized this month.

- Doug Donovan


Nurse convicted in death of woman by overfeeding

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