City / County Digest

CITY / COUNTY DIGEST

December 19, 2006

Officer shoots man suspected in stabbing

A Reisterstown woman was fatally stabbed last night in her home, and two hours later a Baltimore County police officer shot and wounded a knife-wielding man who might have been her killer, a police spokesman said.

The slaying was reported about 5:35 p.m. by a man who called police on a cell phone, said he had just killed someone and ended the call, said Cpl. Mike Hill, the spokesman.

FOR THE RECORD - Because of inaccurate information provided by Baltimore school officials, an article yesterday incorrectly identified the school where a 17-year-old was found with an unloaded gun during a weapons search. It was Thurgood Marshall High School. THE SUN REGRETS THE ERROR

Police traced the call to a house in the 100 block of Westminster Pike and dispatched an officer from the Franklin Precinct, Hill said. The officer was met there by a woman who told him that another woman, believed to be the girlfriend or former girlfriend of a man who lived there, had been stabbed and was lying dead in a room.

In the meantime, police tried without success to contact the man on his cell phone, Hill said.

While an extensive search for a suspect in the stabbing was under way, a police officer driving south on Ivy Mill Road near Nicodemus Road about 7:20 p.m. spotted a man with a knife walking on the darkened road, Hill said.

When the officer approached the man and repeatedly ordered him to drop the knife, the man refused and was shot multiple times, Hill said.

A state police helicopter landed at Ivy Mill and Deer Park roads and flew the man to Maryland Shock Trauma Center. His condition was not available.

Names of the woman and the suspect were not released.

Richard Irwin

Hall, former councilwoman, considered for 6th District seat

Vera P. Hall, who represented Northwest Baltimore on the City Council from 1987 to 1995, is being considered to fill a council vacancy that will be created next month after Mayor Martin O'Malley becomes governor.

Hall, 69, was chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party in the early 1990s and ran an unsuccessful campaign for City Council president in 1995. She is being considered to replace City Council Vice President Stephanie C. Rawlings Blake, who represents the 6th District.

Rawlings Blake is expected to become president of the council next month when its president, Sheila Dixon, becomes mayor and serves the rest of O'Malley's mayoral term. Hall could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Several council members said they have been approached by council leadership about Hall as a possibility. Councilman Nicholas C. D'Adamo Jr. said he would be agreeable to Hall filling the soon-to-be vacant seat. If selected, Hall would serve through the end of next year. "She seems like the perfect fit," D'Adamo said.

City Council members are expected to elect Rawlings Blake as president and Councilman Robert W. Curran as vice president after O'Malley's Jan. 17 inauguration. The council then has 30 days to convene a committee to select a replacement for Rawlings Blake's seat.

John Fritze and Doug Donovan

Baltimore: Banks High

Teen arrested in weapons search

A 17-year-old student at Dr. Samuel L. Banks High School in Northeast Baltimore was arrested yesterday after school police found him with an unloaded gun during a weapons search, officials said.

School system spokeswoman Vanessa Pyatt said the boy had a .32-caliber revolver. The school police officers and administrators who conducted the weapons search found no ammunition.

The boy was charged with a handgun violation and possession of a deadly weapon on school property, Pyatt said.

Pyatt said it was the fifth time this academic year that a gun has been confiscated on the grounds of a city school. No one was injured in any of the incidents, she said.

Three of the five guns were loaded, Pyatt said. One - a revolver that an 8-year-old brought to Grove Park Elementary School in October - discharged.

The school police force searches middle and high school students for weapons several times a year. During searches this school year, they recovered a loaded gun at Frederick Douglass High and an unloaded gun at the Augusta Fells Savage Institute of Visual Arts. School police found a loaded gun in a car they searched on the grounds of Patterson High.

Sara Neufeld

Harford County: Sentencing

Man gets 40 years for molesting boy, 12

A Harford County man was sentenced to 40 years in prison yesterday - four times the maximum sentence - for molesting a 12-year-old boy whose family members were taking piano lessons at the man's home.

David Barry Mentzer, 51, of Joppa pleaded guilty in September to one count of third-degree sex offense, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

The judge, who has discretion in sentencing, chose to impose a longer term. Prosecutors had sought a life sentence because of Mentzer's prior convictions on similar charges in Kentucky and Harford County.

"Given his prior convictions, this was a guy that we needed to protect the citizens from," said Harford County State's Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly.

Justin Fenton

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