Metro

CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

News from around the Baltimore region

August 02, 2005

BALTIMORE

Boy, 15, found guilty of teenager's murder

A 15-year-old boy was found guilty in adult court yesterday of first-degree murder for fatally shooting his cousin's boyfriend in an attempted robbery.

Kevin Scott of the 1900 block of Dukeland St. faces a maximum sentence of life plus 45 years in prison for the death of 15-year-old Christopher Richardson in September.

FOR THE RECORD - Because of incorrect information provided by Baltimore police, a Metro Digest item yesterday misstated the number of city homicides in 2004 and 2005. As of Monday night, there were 166 homicides in Baltimore this year, compared with 171 during the same period last year.
The Sun regrets the errors.

Richardson had taken his girlfriend out for an evening and had given her mother $200 to ensure that he would bring his date home on time. He did, and got his money back. Shortly after leaving the house, prosecutors said Scott, who was 14 at the time, robbed him of the money.

Prosecutors said during the trial in Baltimore Circuit Court that Scott shot Richardson five times - four times in the head - with a .22-caliber handgun.

This case was particularly difficult because witnesses changed their stories and prosecutors had little physical evidence to show the jury. One witness, a friend of Richardson's, identified Scott as the killer.

Defense attorney Lawrence Rosenberg said witnesses had been manipulated by police, and he presented two witnesses who said Scott was with them the night of the shooting.

Jurors deliberated for a day and a half.

"The jury was able to weed through the recantations," Assistant State's Attorney Matthew Fraling said after the verdict. "This was a case of credibility assessment."

Scott also was convicted of use of a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence and armed robbery.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 20.

- Justin Fenton

BALTIMORE

Man, 34, found fatally shot is city's 168th homicide in '05

Baltimore's homicide count for the year rose to 168 yesterday as a 34-year-old man was found fatally shot in West Baltimore, and an autopsy on an unidentified man's decomposed body found Sunday night in a Northeast Baltimore apartment determined his death was caused by multiple gunshot wounds, city police said.

In the latest slaying, Craig Crowder of the 1000 block of N. Broadway was found lying in the 2300 block of W. Baltimore St. about 2:25 a.m. bleeding from multiple bullet wounds, police said. He died about five hours later at Maryland Shock Trauma Center.

Police were hoping that fingerprints would identify the man found dead about 8 p.m. Sunday at Wellington Gate Apartments in the 2400 block of Bridgehampton Drive. A maintenance worker entered an apartment after receiving a call from a tenant about an unusual odor, saw a body on the kitchen floor and called police.

Homicide Detective Arthur Brummer said several shell casings were found in the apartment and that the man had been dead for several days. There was no sign of forced entry or a struggle, he said.

In an unrelated case, police said a man who was fatally shot Thursday night in the 1700 block of Fleet St. in Fells Point has been identified as Jose Hernandez, 34, of New Freedom, Pa.

A friend, Jose Medrano, 21, whose address was not released, also was shot during the incident and was in critical condition at Johns Hopkins Hospital, authorities said.

No arrests had been made in the slayings, police said. The 168 homicide deaths this year are three more than at the same time in 2004, police said.

- Richard Irwin

BALTIMORE

Police helicopters grounded after fatal crash in California

Baltimore police have grounded their fleet of four helicopters pending completion of diagnostic tests after the same type of craft was involved in a crash that killed two sheriff's deputies in California last month.

Officer Troy Harris, a police spokesman, said the department took the French-made EC-120 American Eurocopter helicopters out of service last week as a safety precaution in response to the California incident. After mechanical evaluations are completed, the helicopters could be cleared to fly later this week, he said.

On July 13, three deputies with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department were in an EC-120 American Eurocopter that crashed, apparently because of a mechanical failure. Two deputies died and a third was seriously injured.- Gus G. Sentementes

BALTIMORE COUNTY

Care provider admits fraud, must repay almost $9,000

A Baltimore County woman pleaded guilty yesterday to stealing nearly $9,000 from the state when she falsely claimed that she was providing care for two children at her former Pikesville day care center, the state attorney general's office said.

Erica Patrice Whiting of the 7100 block of Bexhill Road was given a suspended sentence and put on two years' supervised probation. She also must repay the Baltimore County Department of Social Services $8,866 during her probation, the state attorney general's office said. The county department administers the program for the state.

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