City man charged in death of woman, 21

BALTIMORE COUNTY DIGEST

September 13, 2007

A Baltimore man has been charged in the death of a woman whose body was found Monday in a Catonsville hotel room, Baltimore County police said yesterday.

Darrell Tyrone Avery, 22, of the 5500 block of Clifton Ave. and the victim had checked into the Comfort Inn in the 5800 block of Baltimore National Pike on Saturday, police said.

On Monday, the victim, Diekia T. Davis, 21, whose last known address was in the 2000 block of Druid Hill Ave. in Baltimore, was found dead inside the hotel.

An autopsy performed Tuesday showed that Davis died of blunt-force trauma and strangulation, according to police.

Detectives investigating Davis' death found a note in the hotel room signed "Rell" and discovered that a cell phone and ATM card belonging to Davis were missing, police said.

Police also learned that Avery was seeing Davis, has a tattoo that reads "Rell" and was wanted on attempted murder charges in another case.

Police set up surveillance yesterday in the area of Security Boulevard and Forest Park Avenue and found a man fitting Avery's description in the passenger seat of a truck.

Avery had Davis' cell phone on his lap at the time he was stopped, police said.

Avery was questioned at police headquarters, where he admitted seeing Davis but denied staying with her, according to police.

Avery has been charged with first-degree murder and has been denied bail, police said.

He is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Randallstown

Arundel grand jury indicts woman on fraud charge

A Randallstown woman has been indicted on charges of filing $28,000 in fake insurance claims and of stealing another $6,300 from her employer, the Maryland attorney general's office announced yesterday.

Raquel Greene-Richmond, 34, was indicted Friday by an Anne Arundel County grand jury on Friday on theft and insurance fraud charges.

From March 2006 to December, the indictment said, Greene-Richmond filed forged documents with State Farm Insurance, claiming more than $28,000 in lost wages and medical expenses.

A separate charging document alleges that Greene-Richmond stole $6,300 from her then-employer, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

No trial date has been set.

General Assembly

Morhaim named deputy majority leader in House of Delegates

A lawmaker from Baltimore County has been named deputy majority leader of the House of Delegates.

Del. Dan K. Morhaim, an Owings Mills Democrat, was named to the position by House Speaker Michael E. Busch.

In a written statement, Busch described Morhaim as "an articulate and passionate voice for two of our caucus' most important priorities -- health care and education."

Morhaim, a physician, has served in the House of Delegates since 1995. He serves on the Health and Government Operations Committee, where he is chairman of the government operations subcommittee.

He also serves on the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review and as House chairman of the Joint Committee on Health Care Delivery and Financing.

Last year, he was appointed assistant majority leader, a position he will relinquish with his new assignment.

Morhaim succeeds Del. Shane E. Pendergrass of Howard County as deputy majority leader.

Towson

African-American cultural fest is scheduled for Saturday

The Baltimore County African American Cultural Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday in the plaza between the old courthouse and Circuit Court buildings.

Performers include singer Regina Belle, comedian Renee Hicks and musical groups The Spindels, Voices with Reason, Mambo Sauce, Men of Faith and the Calvary Crusaders.

The event also will feature historical exhibits, children's activities, health screenings, arts and crafts, and food.

Free parking will be available at garages at York Road and Washington Avenue, and Washington and Susquehanna avenues.

Information: 410-887-5557.

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 of the event.

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