Death of Columbia teen is a homicide, police say

May 23, 2007|By Melissa Harris and John-John Williams IV | Melissa Harris and John-John Williams IV,Sun Reporters

A 19-year-old man found dead in a Columbia townhouse Tuesday died of a gunshot wound, marking the third homicide in Howard County this year, police said yesterday.

Trae D. Allen was found in a residence in the 5200 block of Brook Way, near his family's townhouse in the same block of The Berkshires, a large residential complex formerly known as the Hannibal Grove apartments.

An autopsy was performed yesterday. The state medical examiner's office referred all questions to Howard County police. Investigators would not say how many times he was shot.

It also was unclear whether Allen lived with his family. A man who identified himself as Allen's father declined to speak to a reporter yesterday.

In 2004, Allen, then 17 and living with his family, was charged as an adult with first-degree assault and armed robbery. A man who lived in The Berkshires accused Allen and two other teenagers of beating him with a 12-inch metal pole, threatening him with a knife and stealing more than $300 from his wallet, according to court records. Howard County prosecutors dropped the charges; the victim had provided a false name to police.

Allen repeatedly switched schools in the years before his arrest. After attending Meade Middle School in Anne Arundel County, Allen enrolled in Wilde Lake High School for part of his freshman year in 2001 and then transferred to Fairmount Heights High School in Prince George's County.

After attending Wakefield High School in Arlington, Va., Allen returned to Wilde Lake High "briefly" in March 2003, according to Howard County school system spokeswoman Patti Caplan.

Caplan declined to say what prompted the moves.

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