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CITY/COUNTY DIGEST

News from around the Baltimore region

September 03, 2005

BALTIMORE

Judge won't cut term in killing of 15-year-old

A Baltimore Circuit Court judge denied a request yesterday to reduce the six-year jail sentence for the man who fatally shot a 15-year-old boy who had tried to steal a bicycle from his yard.

Judge John M. Glynn said the original sentence was appropriate, despite arguments from Edward Day's attorney, Kenneth W. Ravenell, that his client did not represent a danger to the community and could finish his sentence on home detention.

Day, who is 58, shot David Stewart in July 2002 and was convicted of manslaughter in August last year.

"He may have merited punishment for what he was doing," Glynn said of the deceased teenager, David Stewart. "But he didn't merit death."

- Gus G. Sentementes

BALTIMORE

Police identify man fatally shot during encounter with officers

Police identified yesterday the man fatally shot during an encounter with officers in Southwest Baltimore on Thursday as Earl Thomas Tillman.

Tillman, 19, of the 2400 block of W. North Ave. had been wanted in connection with the armed robbery of a hair salon in the 3000 block of Frederick Ave.

Police commanders had discussed Tillman's alleged involvement in recent crimes during their weekly Comstat meeting at police headquarters, where they analyze crime trends and data.

Tillman had been placed on a most-wanted list Thursday, according to Deputy Police Commissioner Marcus Brown.

About 3:45 p.m. Thursday, two police officers in an unmarked car spotted Tillman riding in the back seat of an unregistered taxi. The officers stopped the car and police said Tillman pointed a handgun at them. The officers shot Tillman, who later died of his injuries, police said.

The officers who opened fire were identified as David Williamson and Gary Smith. They were placed on routine administrative duty pending the outcome of the investigation. Tillman had a juvenile and an adult arrest record for drugs and violent offenses, Brown said.

He said the incident is an example of what the Police Department is doing to fight crime.

"We had discussed robbery cases occurring in that part of the city [and] deployed officers to that area," Brown said.

Police statistics released yesterday showed that violent crime was down in several categories so far this year. There have been 186 homicides this year, compared with 196 for the same period last year. Shootings are down 15 percent; robberies are down 7 percent; aggravated assaults are down 5 percent and burglaries are down 17 percent, according to department figures.

- Gus G. Sentementes

ANNE ARUNDEL

Fla. trucker charged after 29 pounds of pot are found

A Florida truck driver was being held on $1 million bail after being arrested this week at the Bay Bridge truck inspection station and charged with possession of nearly 29 pounds of marijuana hidden inside his tractor-trailer, the Maryland Transportation Authority Police reported.

After the tractor-trailer was stopped for a routine inspection off the eastbound lanes near the toll plaza about 7 p.m. Wednesday, Cpl. Bret Dousharm and Officer Richard DeVincentz inspected the trailer and found 52 large, shrink-wrapped plastic bags containing marijuana and hidden among general cargo, said John Ryan, an MdTA Police spokesman.

Vladimir Oliva, 39, of Florida City was charged with importation of marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and held at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center.

It was not known where the trucker was headed, Ryan said.

-Richard Irwin

COLUMBIA

Boy, 2, wanders from group, drowns in lake

A 2-year-old boy drowned in Columbia's Lake Elkhorn yesterday after reportedly wandering away from a group of day-care children at a nearby playground.

Howard County police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said police were called at 11:45 a.m. by a day-care provider reporting a lost child. At nearly the same time, police got another call about a child in the lake.

Llewellyn said an off-duty Secret Service agent who was at the lake at the time found the child in the water and brought him out, but CPR performed by the agent and a nurse did not revive him. The 23-month-old child, identified as Alex Ferrera of Laurel, was rushed to Howard County General Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

The newly renovated Columbia Association playground is popular with young parents and their children, and in nice weather, many day-care providers bring their children, said Jola Bojaxhi, 31, who was visiting the site with her children, 4 and 6, two hours after the incident.

The drowning is the second in the Baltimore metropolitan area this summer. On June 12, a 3-year-old boy fell into a private pool at a Baltimore County home and drowned.

-- Larry Carson

ANNE ARUNDEL

Math, science charter school will open as scheduled

Chesapeake Science Point, a math, science and technology charter school in Anne Arundel County, will open Tuesday morning as planned, after receiving a temporary building occupancy permit yesterday.

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