Baltimore County Digest

BALTIMORE COUNTY DIGEST

March 07, 2007

City man, 33, sought in stabbing death

County police were searching for a suspect yesterday in the fatal stabbing of a man in August at a Randallstown bar.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Thomas Buddy Harris, 33, of the 4400 block of Falls Bridge Drive in Baltimore, police said yesterday. Harris is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Karim Cross, 27, of the 3800 block of Nemo Road in Randallstown, police said.

Police responded to a report of a fight about 1:45 a.m. Aug. 13 at the Rush Hour Bar in the 9800 block of Liberty Road. They found a large crowd and learned that Cross had been taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he died of a stab wound, police said.

The investigation showed that Cross and Harris, who were not acquainted, had been inside the bar.

Detectives obtained a warrant for Harris' arrest Feb. 19 and have been looking for him, according to police.

Anyone with information about Harris is asked to call Baltimore County Police at 410-307-2020 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCKUP.

Nick Shields

Towson

Woman sentenced for child abuse

A 22-year-old woman was sentenced to 10 years in prison yesterday for scalding a friend's 2-year-old son in the bathtub of a Baltimore County hotel, leaving the boy with permanent injuries that doctors say will prevent him from walking.

Montia G. Hughes was convicted in December of first-degree child abuse for injuring Jonah Wali Coffey, who suffered second- and third-degree burns to 35 percent of his body. Entering an Alford plea, Hughes did not admit that she abused the boy but acknowledged that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict her of immersing the boy in scalding bath water at the Ramada Inn in Loch Raven in December 2005.

Baltimore County Circuit Judge Robert E. Cahill Jr. sentenced Hughes to 20 years in prison, suspending all but 10 years. He also ordered the Brooklyn Park woman to serve five years of supervised probation upon her release.

Defense attorney Jack B. Rubin asked the judge to consider his client's background, including drug addiction that afflicted both her parents, lead paint poisoning and witnessing, at age 10, her sister's murder.

"Just simply to warehouse her -- without any treatment whatsoever -- is a sure ticket to recidivism," Rubin told the judge.

But Cahill, who said he had never seen photographs as disturbing as the images in the case file of Jonah at the hospital after he was burned, wondered aloud whether treatment was even possible.

"How do you treat someone who would do something this monstrous?" the judge asked.

The boy's mother, Regina Coffey, was sentenced in May to seven years in prison for child abuse for failing to tend to her son's injuries.

Jennifer McMenamin

Annapolis

Assembly bill would block LNG plant

State lawmakers representing Baltimore County have introduced another measure that would block a liquefied natural gas facility from being built at Sparrows Point.

Similar to legislation passed last month by the Baltimore County Council, the proposed General Assembly bills would prohibit oil and gas facilities from being built in environmentally sensitive coastal areas in Baltimore City and Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties.

AES Corp., a global power supply company seeking federal approval to construct an LNG terminal at the former Bethlehem Steel shipyard, has filed a lawsuit in federal court over the county's prohibition.

Kent Morton, the Sparrows Point project manager for the company, said yesterday, "The whole intent of the critical areas law is to promote development in an environmentally sensitive manner, which is what we're proposing to do."

The proposed legislation -- House Bill 1312 and Senate Bill 996 -- is backed by eight state senators and 17 delegates. The measures are also endorsed by Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith Jr., Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold and Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon.

"Residents on both sides of the Patapsco River are justifiably concerned about the potential adverse safety impact of this facility on public safety and the environment," Leopold said in a statement. Hearings on the bills had not been scheduled as of yesterday.

A hearing on a bill that would allow governments to collect impact fees from companies that build LNG facilities is scheduled for 1 p.m. March 13. Information: 410-841-3519.

Laura Barnhardt

Essex

Man sought in armed robbery

Baltimore County police were looking for the man they believe might be responsible for a robbery in the Essex area, police said yesterday.

On Dec. 6, a 46-year-old man was the victim of an armed robbery in the 600 block of Bowleys Quarters Road. The victim was walking to the Bonfire bar when he was approached by a man who pointed a handgun at him and demanded his wallet, police said. After the victim gave the robber his wallet, the robber fled.

Police said that the victim's credit cards were used the day after the robbery at several gas stations and at a fast-food restaurant, including out-of-state locations, police said.

Police describe the robber as a black man, 30 to 35 years old, 5 feet 8 inches tall, with a slim build. At the time of the robbery he was wearing a dark puffy jacket, faded baggy blue jeans and a gray knit hat, police said.

Police said the man might also be responsible for a robbery Nov. 1 in the 1400 block of Hadwick Drive and an attempted robbery early Feb. 9 in the 600 block of Bowleys Quarters Road.

Anyone with information about the robberies is asked to call county police at 410-307-2020 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7-LOCKUP (1-866-756-2587).

Events or news items for the Baltimore County Digest may be submitted to baltco.news@baltsun.com. Information should be sent at least 10 days in advance.

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