Crime Watch

November 14, 2007

Delayed deaths of 2 put homicide count at 259

Baltimore's homicide count has risen to 259 after the deaths this year of two men, one assaulted more than eight years ago on a West Baltimore street and another shot more than a decade ago during an armed robbery in the city's northeast area.

The deaths were the result of complications from their injuries, according to the state medical examiner's office, a spokesman for the city police said yesterday.

On March 24, 1997, Trent Earll, then 25, of the 4200 block of Seidel Ave., was shot in the torso during an $8 robbery in the 4400 block of Belair Road, said Agent Donny Moses, the spokesman. Moses said Earll was treated at a hospital and released.

In August, Earll was admitted to University of Maryland Medical Center with a leg infection, and the limb had to be amputated, Moses said. His condition worsened, and he died Sept. 4.

Moses said the medical examiner ruled Oct. 10 that Earll died as a direct result of being shot.

In a similar case, Frederick Davis of the 500 block of Brice St. died June 25 from complications of a brutal beating by unknown men on Fulton Avenue on Feb. 19, 1999. Davis, who suffered brain injuries, was treated at hospitals and a rehabilitation center. He recently suffered complications, the spokesman said.

Moses said that after an autopsy Davis' death was ruled a homicide. No arrests had been made in either case.

Richard Irwin

Shooting victim was to testify

Carlos Smithson had been scheduled to testify today in the Baltimore Circuit Court trial of the man accused of shooting him repeatedly in the legs.

But Smithson, 22, was killed Sunday - a block away from where he and two others were shot in April. Police and prosecutors said they are investigating whether Smithson's two shootings are related.

No arrests have been made in the homicide. Charged with attempted murder in the April shooting is Vincent Berry, 19. His trial is expected to be postponed today.

Charging documents for Berry do not give any motive for the shooting, which occurred April 26 in front of a rowhouse in the 1300 block of N. Luzerne Ave.

Smithson was shot "numerous times in his legs" and was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital in critical condition, the documents state. Two women, Towanda Simms and Dejournette Harmon, also were shot. Simms was shot in the foot and Harmon in the back, the documents state.

Sterling Clifford, a city police spokesman, said a consideration of the April shooting as a motive for Smithson's killing was "one of many possible routes of the investigation."

About 5:30 p.m. Sunday, just as a vigil for a 16-year-old murder victim from last year was beginning about half a block away, someone approached Smithson and shot him several times, police said.

He fell inside a rowhouse in the 2600 block of Grogan Ave., a house that appeared to be filled with women and young children. A man was handcuffed when police arrived at the scene, but that man was not charged with any crimes.

Smithson, of the 400 block of N. Robinson St., according to court documents, pleaded guilty in January to drug distribution.

Julie Bykowicz

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