Man tells jury friend admitted shootings

Baltimore & Region

November 18, 2005|By JULIE BYKOWICZ | JULIE BYKOWICZ,SUN REPORTER

A man testified in court yesterday that his friend confessed to shooting two undercover police officers - testimony that came as a surprise to both prosecutors and the defense attorney on the first day of the trial of William Floyd Crudup.

Reuben Brooks testified that 25-year-old Crudup called him about a half-dozen times the night of the shootings on March 12, speaking in a rushed voice and asking Brooks to come pick him up.

Brooks told the jury that when the two men spoke again a day or two later, Crudup confessed to the shootings. Brooks said he told police about the conversation, but neither Brooks' tape-recorded statements nor the detectives' notes make any reference to it.

Crudup faces charges of attempted first-degree murder in the shootings of Officers Andrew Lane and Joseph Banks outside a home in the 3200 block of Elmley Ave. in Belair-Edison.

The officers were responding to a report of a suspicious man standing on a porch when, during a struggle, the man pulled a gun and shot them. Lane was struck in his left calf, and a bullet grazed Banks' right hip.

Defense attorney Catherine Flynn said in her opening statement that her client is not guilty and implored jurors to weigh the credibility of the witnesses. Two of the four witnesses who testified yesterday said they had lied to police.

One was a 15-year-old Thurgood Marshall High student who gave police a detailed account of the shooting, which she said she saw from her front porch. She had identified Crudup to police and described his clothing.

But on the witness stand yesterday, Sydney Gibbs said police forced her to make those statements, though she could not elaborate.

"Do you remember telling police you saw what happened?" Assistant State's Attorney Jenifer Layman asked the barely audible teenager.

"Yes," she replied.

"What did you see that night?"

"Nothing."

Gibbs will return to the stand this morning for cross-examination.

Jurors also heard from a man who told police that he had bought drugs from Crudup moments before the shooting and had heard the shots fired. But Andre Walker testified that he had falsely implicated Crudup in hopes of getting a $2,000 reward.

"I'm just coming clean," he told the jury. "I don't want my testimony to send that man to jail," Walker said.

julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com

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