Where's suspect, and the justice?

November 07, 2007|By GREGORY KANE

Where is Davon David Temple?

We know where he was in January of this year: in Baltimore District Court, where charges that he trespassed on the grounds of the Walbrook Uniform Services Academy were dropped. In December of last year, Temple was also in District Court, where the hearing for those charges was postponed.

A Baltimore police officer said that in October of last year Temple and at least one other man walked onto the grounds of the Walbrook Uniform Services Academy spoiling for a fight with members of the Crips gang. Two days earlier, the officer wrote in his report, Bloods and Crips duked it out on the school parking lot.

We definitely know where Temple was the night of April 28, 2006. Lt. William Davis stopped him on a West Baltimore street to conduct a field interview. According to police charging documents, Davis asked Temple if he could search his cell phone for information about gang members. Those same charging documents allege Temple handed the phone to Davis, who came across the following text message in the phone's out box:

"I killed 2 white people around my way 2day & 1 of them was a woman."

That text message suggests that we probably know where Temple was the afternoon of April 23, 2006, too. But we can't say it.

But somebody, on that day, fatally shot Jennifer Lynne Morelock and Jason David Woycio on Arunah Avenue in West Baltimore. Morelock was 25, five months pregnant and lived in New Windsor in Carroll County. Woycio was 29 and lived in Westminster. Police have suggested that at least one of them was in the area to buy drugs.

Being a drug addict doesn't warrant the death penalty anywhere in the country, except perhaps here in Bodymore, Murderland - the term reprobates in this town appropriately give Baltimore. Temple was arrested and charged with murder. Those charges were dropped when prosecutors said that Davis' search of Temple's text messages was illegal; the lieutenant needed a warrant for that.

So Temple was cut loose, and is probably walking Baltimore's streets today.

What should have happened is for Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia Jessamy to have tried Temple with the text message as evidence and let circuit or appeals judges deal with whether the search of his cell phone text messages - a relatively new area of case law - was legal or illegal.

Temple's being allowed to walk is what in most places would be considered an outrage. But you haven't seen any manifest outrage about this case, have you?

Nobody talks about it; the gaggle of outraged black Baltimoreans who got themselves so whipped up into high dudgeon about the Jena Six that some went way down to Louisiana to protest injustice haven't spoken one word about the justice not received for Morelock, Woycio or their surviving family members.

Even more appalling is the silence and lack of outrage from elected officials. Gov. Martin O'Malley was still mayor of Baltimore when Morelock and Woycio were murdered and Temple was cut loose. He'd been notorious for criticizing Jessamy in the past, sometimes on the most spurious of grounds.

But the one time O'Malley should have criticized Jessamy - and would have been absolutely right for doing so - the guy decided to take a powder. Mayor Sheila Dixon was City Council president when the outrage happened. We didn't hear from her as city council president; we haven't heard from her as mayor, either.

In fact, there were a whole bunch of people who campaigned for mayor and talked about what their crime-fighting strategies would be. Somehow, the topic of justice for the Morelock and Woycio families never seemed to rear its nettlesome head.

Now it's tempting to trot out all those hypotheticals about how this situation would have played out - and whether there would have been public outrage - if the races of the suspect and victims were reversed. For me this is actually very simple. It's not one of those homicides that go unsolved because the police have little or nothing to go on. It's one where the victims are killed, the suspect has incriminating information in his cell phone text messages and the case is dropped because of an "illegal" search.

"In this area of the law, what [police] needed was a warrant, because [the text message] wasn't in plain view," Marty Burns, a spokeswoman for the state's attorney's office, said yesterday in updating me on where the investigation into the deaths of Morelock and Woycio stands. "Officers are allowed to search anything in plain view."

Someone not in plain view is Temple, and that's information Baltimoreans need to know.

Where is this guy?

greg.kane@baltsun.com

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Find Greg Kane's column archive at baltimoresun.com/kane

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