News from around the Baltimore region

June 17, 2005


Sisters' deaths appear heat-related, police say

The two sisters found dead Wednesday evening in their East Baltimore apartment appear to have suffered heat-related deaths, city police said yesterday.

Theresa Spencer, 66, and Vivian Akes, 62, were found in their apartment in the 800 block of N. Collington Ave., where the temperature was more than 100 degrees, said Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman.

A relative who forced the door open shortly before 7 p.m., after getting no response to knocks, found the body of one woman in the bathroom and the other in the kitchen. There were no signs of foul play, Moses said. Police were awaiting autopsy results.

At least two Maryland residents have died this year of heat-related illnesses, including a 71-year-old Prince George's County woman who died a week ago.


Man, 23, is fatally shot in Latrobe Homes complex

A 23-year-old man was shot and killed early yesterday in the Latrobe Homes public housing complex in East Baltimore, police said.

A gunman approached Jerry Evans about 4:35 a.m. in the 1100 block of McAleer Court and opened fire, hitting Evans several times in the head and body, said Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman.

Evans was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was pronounced dead a short time later. The victim lived in the 1100 block of Wilmot Court in Latrobe Homes, Moses said. No arrests had been made yesterday.

Police asked anyone with information to call homicide Detective Sean Jones at 410-396-2100.

The killing was the 119th homicide this year in the city, police said. At the same time last year, there had been 125.

- Ryan Davis


Man gets 17 1/2 -year jail term for robbing Lutherville bank

A 43-year-old Baltimore man was sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison yesterday for robbing a Baltimore County bank last year. Court documents say he admitted to a string of other robberies in Maryland and Pennsylvania.

U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr. also sentenced Ronald Stewart to five years of supervised release in connection with his guilty plea to bank robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.

According to court papers, Stewart entered the 1st Mariner Bank in the 1700 block of York Road in Lutherville on July 22, 2004, armed with a semi-automatic handgun. He said to tellers, "This is a holdup" and "Don't anybody push any buttons, or I will kill you."

His accomplice, Traquan Johnson, 23, of Baltimore, entered the bank lobby a few seconds later. Johnson obtained money from the cash drawers.

Police said they later found the men and their vehicle, and recovered $6,516 taken during the robbery and the gun.

Both defendants gave statements admitting to two other bank robberies in 2004, taking $3,833 from the Citizens Bank in York, Pa., on July 15 and taking $20,484 from the M&T Bank on Groffs Mill Drive in Owings Mills on July 8. Johnson was sentenced to 10 years and five months in prison in March.

Court papers also say that Stewart admitted committing five more bank robberies last year, taking $3,255 from 1st Mariner Bank in Gambrills on April 14; $1,600 from M&T Bank in Owings Mills on May 14; $5,450 from 1st Mariner Bank in Gambrills on June 2; $4,902 from a Bank of America branch in Baltimore County on June 21; and an undisclosed amount from the Patapsco Bank on Harford Road in Baltimore County on July 2.

- Matthew Dolan


State, Carroll to share costs of road improvements

The state and Carroll County will share the costs of improving the intersection of Routes 26 and 32 in Eldersburg and of widening Route 32 south from Route 26 to MacBeth Way, officials said yesterday.

The $5 million estimated cost includes land acquisition, engineering and construction, which could be completed within two years, state officials said. The county will contribute $2.5 million, and the State Highway Administration will pay the rest.

The plan calls for construction of a right-turn-only lane onto southbound Route 32 from eastbound Route 26 to ease long delays at the crossing, where traffic is four times the highway's capacity during peak hours, officials said.

The right lane will continue south on Route 32 to MacBeth Way, where the state will install a traffic signal. The widened stretch of highway will include sidewalks on both sides and a 2-foot-wide median.

"The state is working on right-of-way acquisition and engineering for this project at the same time, and that cuts the time frame for completion significantly," said Steven C. Horn, Carroll County's director of planning.

- Mary Gail Hare


Emergency responders to hold disaster training

Carroll County emergency responders and officials will participate in a disaster training exercise this morning in New Windsor.

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