Alaeze's gun case moved to county

Ex-Randallstown star also faces attempted murder, other charges


February 28, 2007|By Bill Ordine | Bill Ordine,Sun Reporter

A city gun possession case involving former Randallstown High football star Melvin Alaeze was transferred yesterday from city jurisdiction to Baltimore County, where the once-highly recruited defensive lineman is charged with attempted murder, armed robbery and related offenses.

Alaeze's attorney, Kevin B. Kamenetz, said in Baltimore District Court that the publicity a gun possession trial in the city would attract could, in turn, adversely affect a potential subsequent trial in the county on the more serious charges. Prosecutors for both the city and the county agreed that the case should be moved, lawyers for the city state's attorney's office told Judge Jack I. Lesser.

Alaeze, 19, made an appearance two weeks ago before Lesser in the John R. Hargrove Sr. District Court Building on the misdemeanor gun possession charges stemming from a Jan. 12 traffic stop. Police found behind the driver's seat of the SUV that Alaeze was driving a revolver with four empty .22-caliber shell casings and one bullet in the cylinder, court papers said. In the county case, a man was shot three times and allegedly robbed of his 1998 Buick, $400, two cell phones, keys and tennis shoes on Dec. 24. The shooting victim later identified Alaeze as one of his assailants.

During the Feb. 13 hearing on the gun charges in District Court, city prosecutors asked for a postponement to investigate aspects of the two cases that might be related. Alaeze, who has been held in a city detention facility on $500,000 bail, will be transferred to county custody.

Alaeze had a football scholarship to attend the University of Maryland but that was withdrawn in June 2006. He then received a scholarship to the University of Illinois, but he played in two games there before leaving in late September for "personal reasons."

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