Crime Watch

November 15, 2007

Man charged in May shooting

A man was arrested Tuesday and charged with the fatal shooting in May of a corrections officer assigned to the Central Booking and Intake Center during what police described as an armed robbery gone bad.

Brandon Wall, 21, whose home address was not available, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Lt. Perry Van Brooks, 48.

FOR THE RECORD - An article in yesterday's Maryland section incorrectly identified the area of Baltimore County where a man was found shot to death in an apartment building Wednesday night. The shooting occurred in Middle River.
The Sun regrets the errors.

Brooks was shot in the head and arm about 2:30 a.m. May 25 as he sat in his 2004 Nissan Altima in the rear driveway of his home in the 1900 bock of Hillenwood Road in Northeast Baltimore. His grandson found his body.

Brooks, a 23-year corrections employee, had worked at Central Booking since 1997, overseeing the detainee-release process.

A day after Brooks was killed, Barbara Cooper, a spokeswoman for the Division of Pretrial Detention and Services, said there was no indication that Brooks' killing was related to his job.

Man found shot to death in Essex

A man was found shot to death last night in an Essex apartment building, police said. No arrest had been made.

Police, responding to a report of shots being fired shortly before 9:30 p.m., entered the building in the 9800 block of Langs Road in the Victory Villa Gardens community and found the man bleeding from at least one bullet wound.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene, and his body was taken to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy, police said.

The man's identity was withheld pending notification of family members, police said.

Anyone with information is asked to call county homicide detectives at 410-887-3943.

DNA confirms body was victim of killer

DNA tests have confirmed that convicted murderer Stephen Riggins led Howard County police to his wife's body last month, the Police Department said yesterday.

Riggins, 50, is serving a life sentence for the killing of Nancy Lee Riggins, who was 37 when she disappeared July 1, 1996.

He was convicted of murder after a 14-day trial in 2001, though police had not found her body. He had been having an affair with the couple's young baby sitter, and prosecutors convinced the jury that he had ample motive to kill his wife.

It is unclear why Riggins decided to disclose the location of Nancy Riggins' body. He is not up for parole until 2016.

The remains, found in a wooded area in Hanover in Anne Arundel County, lacked a skull, which prevented easy identification through dental records. Scientists relied on DNA from one of the bones to confirm the match, police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said.

Melissa Harris

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