Bail review is waived in fatal shooting

May 23, 2008|By Tyeesha Dixon | Tyeesha Dixon,Sun reporter

Ronald D. McConnell, accused of fatally shooting a Columbia man Saturday, waived his right to a bail review in Howard County District Court yesterday.

District Judge Alice P. Clark ordered McConnell to remain held without bond at the county detention center.

McConnell, 21, was arrested Tuesday in front of a relative's home in Columbia and charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Jason Batts, 23, of the 6200 block of Painted Yellow Gate in Columbia. McConnell also was charged with second-degree murder, assault, and reckless endangerment.

According to charging documents, police found Batts lying next to his car on the parking lot of Stevens Forest Apartments, in the 5800 block of Stevens Forest Road in Columbia, about 3 a.m., according to the documents.

A piece of clear plastic tape stuck to a shotgun buttstock found at the scene by police bore McConnell's fingerprint, the documents show.

An informant told police that McConnell, known as "Rock," had "ordered the homicide over an ongoing dispute," according to the documents. Another witness told police that McConnell was seen with a shotgun and "shotgun shells" matching the ones found at the scene.

Batts' death was the second homicide in Howard County this year. It was one of two shootings in Columbia's Oakland Mills village last weekend. The second, which happened about 1 a.m. Sunday, was not fatal, and police have not charged anyone.

Previously, police had said the two shootings likely were not related. But at a community meeting Tuesday night in Oakland Mills, Police Chief William McMahon said, "We're not sure, quite frankly."

It was the first homicide in Oakland Mills since 2003, McMahon said.

McConnell has a trial scheduled June 18 on several weapons charges, including possession of a firearm as a felon and while being under age 21. Those charges were filed in July, and in August, a judge released him on his own recognizance, according to court records.

In 2005 and 2006, he was convicted of several crimes, including second-degree assault, drug possession and weapons charges.

Although police say McConnell has no fixed address, court records show a previous address on Columbia Road.

tyeesha.dixon@baltsun.com

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