Crime Watch

CRIME WATCH

Baltimore & Region

October 07, 2005

Ex-officers enter not guilty pleas

Three former correctional officers pleaded not guilty yesterday to second-degree murder in the death of an inmate who was fatally beaten in his cell early this year at a troubled state-run facility.

Dameon Christopher Woods, 33, Nathan Del-mont Colbert, 42, and James Leonard Hatcher, 43, were indicted in August on charges of second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault and conspiracy to commit first- and second-degree assault in the beating death of Raymond K. Smoot, 51.

Smoot was being held on a theft charge at Baltimore Central Booking and Intake Center. He was in custody in his cell May 14 when he got into an altercation with correctional officers.

He died at a Baltimore hospital on the night of the beating.

Smoot had a history of disciplinary problems at the facility, jail officials have said.

The suspects face up to 30 years in prison. The three were among eight correctional officers who were fired at the state-run facility in June after Smoot's death.

The FBI opened a separate civil rights investigation into Smoot's death.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Lynn K. Stewart set the trial date for Feb. 6.

FBI nabs man recently freed

A man convicted of shooting a federal police officer nearly two decades ago and sought for a bank robbery committed soon after his release from prison was arrested yesterday afternoon by members of the FBI Bank Robbery Task Force, the U.S. attorney's office announced. Kendall Charles Alexander Sr., 41, was tracked down and arrested after jumping out of a car on a parking lot at U.S. 40 and Rolling Road in Baltimore County. He had been indicted Aug. 30 for bank robbery.

Two others accused in the Aug. 10 holdup at a Wachovia Bank on East Northern Parkway - his son and another man - had already been arrested.

While a 23-year-old Maryland prison escapee in 1987, Alexander shot U.S. Park Police Officer Patrick Gavin in the head. Gavin, who survived, had stopped a stolen car occupied by Alexander and two other men on the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in Prince George's County.

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