Man killed girlfriend, then self, police say

January 20, 2007|By Annie Linskey

A 30-year-old West Baltimore man who had been arrested 18 times in previous years shot his girlfriend in the head and then took his own life Thursday evening, police said yesterday.

Police received a call reporting gunshots about 8:30 p.m. Thursday at a rowhouse in the 1300 block of N. Calhoun St. They found the bodies of Danon Derron Sampson and his girlfriend, Bonita Madden, police said.

The two lived with four children: an 8-year-old girl and three boys ages 6, 5 and 10 months. The children were home when the shootings occurred but did not witness them, police said.

Sampson had a criminal record that included four convictions, according to court records: assault and handgun charges in 1996; assault and handgun charges in 1997; one count of second-degree assault in 2001; and a drug distribution charge in 2004. He had never been sentenced to more than 18 months in prison for any of those offenses, court records showed.

Margaret T. Burns, a spokeswoman for the state's attorney's office, said some of the cases were not solid enough to proceed with. "The police work doesn't end with the arrest," Burns said. "We have to have the evidence and the witnesses."

At the house yesterday, there was a balloon tied to a railing and a red teddy bear had been left at the door. Madden's killing brings this year's homicide total to 18, identical to what it was last year at this time.

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