Crime Watch


June 15, 2006

Woman, 3 men killed in separate incidents

Two men fell victim to gunfire yesterday in separate and apparently unrelated slayings in Baltimore, and the shooting death of another on Tuesday night was also ruled a homicide, city police said.

Police also identified a woman who was found shot to death Tuesday night in her Pimlico home.

In the first of yesterday's homicides, Trey Branch, 21, of the 2700 block of E. Chase St. was found in an alley behind the 2700 block of E. Preston St. about 2:30 a.m., bleeding from bullet wounds to his upper body and face.

He died a short time later at Johns Hopkins Hospital, according to Agent Donny Moses, a spokesman for the police.

Shortly after 8 a.m., police responding to a report of a shooting in the 900 block of E. Preston St. found an unidentified man lying in a parking lot.He had been shot in the head and was pronounced dead at the scene, Moses said.

After an autopsy yesterday, the state medical examiner's office ruled that a man shot Tuesday night on a street in Northwest Baltimore was a homicide victim. The victim -- whose name was withheld -- was found lying in the 2900 block of Towanda Ave. about 10 p.m., bleeding from a bullet wound to the back of the head, by Northwestern Distriict officers responding to a reported shooting. He was pronounced dead 30 minutes later at Sinai Hospital, police said.

The woman, who was shot several times Tuesday night in her home in the 5700 block of Simmonds Ave. near Pimlico Race Course, was identified as Cynthia Riley, 56.

Moses said the shooting occurred shortly before someone reported it to police about 9:15 p.m.

Metro Crime Stoppers at 410-276-8888 is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to arrest and indictment in any of the killings.

Richard Irwin

Woman charged with arson

A 34-year-old woman was arrested and charged with first-degree arson yesterday in connection with a fire that occurred earlier in the day in her duplex apartment in downtown Westminster, according to W. Faron Taylor, deputy state fire marshal.

Melanie A. Gauger of the 400 block of E. Main St. was charged in connection with the fire that started about 2 a.m. in the first-floor bedroom of the two-story building, Taylor said. Damage to the wood-framed building was estimated at $220,000. There were no injuries, officials said.

Bail on the arson charge was set at $52,000.

Gauger was also sentenced yesterday to five months in the Carroll County Detention Center for unrelated assault, driving while intoxicated and drug charges, police said.

Laura McCandlish

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