Slain man was shooting witness

Victim killed in bar also attacked last year

November 25, 2006|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,Sun reporter

The 38-year-old man killed Thanksgiving night in an East Baltimore bar was a witness in at least one upcoming trial.

About 10 p.m. Thursday, James Dowery, 38, was shot once in the head inside the Kozy Korner in the 700 block of Bartlett Ave., said Officer Troy Harris, a police spokesman. A woman with him, whose name is not being released, suffered a graze wound and was being treated at a local hospital.

Harris said homicide detectives have no suspects in the fatal shooting.

Dowery was shot once before, last fall, and court documents show that police believe that shooting was because he had witnessed a killing. The men charged in that killing were two brothers who have since been charged by federal authorities with drug dealing.

Despite being shot in October 2005 and warned twice over the phone not to testify, Dowery took the stand in January in the murder trial of Tamall Parker and Tracy Love. The two brothers were accused of fatally shooting James Wise, Dowery's friend, in October 2004.

Dowery told the jury about the threatening calls but was not allowed to say he had been shot. Although police said they believed the earlier Dowery shooting was to dissuade him from testifying, there was not enough evidence to say so in court.

The jury in the Parker-Love case could not reach a verdict.

Meanwhile, two men, Damon West and James Dinkins, were charged in the October 2005 shooting of Dowery. West, 27, is scheduled for a city trial in February in the shooting. He has been held without bail since his arrest last December in that case.

Margaret T. Burns, a spokeswoman for the city state's attorney's office, said her office turned over to federal prosecutors the cases against Parker, Love and Dinkins in the summer. Neither Parker nor Love has any city Circuit Court cases open. Dinkins, 34, has a city drug trial scheduled for next month.

Parker, Love, Dinkins and a fourth man, Cornell Booker, were indicted on federal charges of conspiracy to distribute heroin. Their trial is scheduled for March.

Burns called Dowery's shooting death "disturbing."

"This shows how unforgiving the streets of Baltimore are," she said.

The U.S. attorney's office declined to say yesterday whether Dowery was scheduled to be a witness in the upcoming federal trial, scheduled for March, against Parker, Love, Dinkins and Booker. The defendants' attorneys could not be reached for comment last night.

Michelle Crnkovich, a spokeswoman for the FBI's Baltimore office, said Dowery was not a participant in her agency's witness protection program.

Sun reporter Matthew Dolan contributed to this article.

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