Alaeze faces charge of attempted murder

Ex-Randallstown star arrested in robbery

January 31, 2007|By Richard Irwin and Lem Satterfield | Richard Irwin and Lem Satterfield,Sun reporters

Melvin Alaeze, a former Randallstown High football star who was one of the nation's top recruits, is facing charges that include attempted murder in connection with an alleged robbery last month.

Information on whether Alaeze, 19, of the first block of Asgard Court in Parkville, was still being held or had been released was not available last night.

He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 9 at the district court in Towson, Baltimore County police said.

Alaeze was The Sun's All-Metro Defensive Player of the Year for 2004 and ranked as the country's No. 1 defensive end recruit. He signed with Maryland, but the school withdrew the scholarship offer because of Alaeze's academic and previous legal problems.

Alaeze has been charged with attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, armed robbery, car theft and use of a handgun in the commission of a violent crime, according to Baltimore County court records.

Reached last night at his Randallstown home, Alaeze's father, Dinma Alaeze, said only, "There's nothing to talk about." Alaeze's high school coach, Albert Howard, also declined to comment, other than to say he was not aware of Alaeze's arrest until yesterday.

Alaeze was arrested Jan. 13, about three weeks after an incident at the Brookhaven apartment complex in Randallstown, according to court records. Speaking to police four days after he had been treated at Northwest Hospital Center for gunshot wounds to the back of the head, back and near the left eye, a man identified Alaeze as one of his assailants, charging documents said.

The man told police that on the morning of Dec. 24, he met Alaeze on the basketball court at the apartment complex in the 8600 block of Bramble Lane and during a conversation an unknown male grabbed and forced him into a vacant apartment.

In the apartment, the man said, he was robbed of $400, two cell phones, keys, his tennis shoes and his 1998 Buick. He was lying face down on the floor when he heard two gunshots and felt something hit him in the back of his head, police said.

When the man tried to get up twice, he was shot outside his left eye and then in the back, police said. He fled the apartment, and a passerby on nearby Liberty Road took him to the hospital.

The charges against Alaeze carry sentences ranging from life for attempted murder to five years for auto theft.

Before the 2006 football season, Alaeze enrolled at the University of Illinois. Alaeze was suspended from the team two weeks later for missing classes, the Chicago Tribune reported. On Oct. 1, Illinois revoked his scholarship, citing "personal reasons."

richard.irwin@baltsun.com lem.satterfield@baltsun.com

Sun reporters Jennifer McMenamin and Julie Scharper contributed to this article.

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