Police charge boyfriend in Bolton Hill killing

October 02, 2008|By Justin Fenton | Justin Fenton,justin.fenton@baltsun.com

The live-in boyfriend of a Bolton Hill woman whose 7-year-old son found her dead in February after he and his cousin returned home from school has been charged with her killing.

Gregory Barber, 23, was picked up last week on a warrant charging him with first-degree murder in the death of 25-year-old Kermia Hair, who was found stabbed and beaten Feb. 7 in her apartment in the 1800 block of Bolton St.

A woman who identified herself as Hair's sister told The Sun in February that her nephew and his cousin found Hair, whose first name is spelled "Kamea" in some records and who was known as "Mia," unconscious in a first-floor room.

The sister said the boys, both students at Mount Royal Elementary School, ran to the house of the 7-year-old's grandmother on North Eutaw Street. She returned to the Bolton Street house and called the police, the sister said.

Records show that Barber had been arrested and charged with second-degree assault in December after an officer responded to Hair's apartment for a report that a man was assaulting a woman in the street. The officer observed Hair bleeding from the mouth and Barber with a "fresh bruise" on his knuckles, but Hair did not allow herself to be photographed and did not ask for any medical treatment.

Two months after the assault, Hair was found dead, beaten in the head with a blunt object and stabbed in her upper torso several times with an unknown weapon, according to charging documents written by homicide Detective Daniel T. Nicholson IV. At the time of her death, police said she had been shot.

Police and prosecutors began a pilot program this year in the city's Northeast District to develop more solid cases in instances of domestic violence. Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III and State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy met yesterday to discuss expanding the program citywide.

Barber told detectives that he had not been back to the apartment since three days before the attack, when he got into a dispute with Hair, according to charging documents. But detectives matched Barber's DNA to evidence collected from the crime scene, and on Sept. 12 police filed first-degree murder charges against Barber, who is being held without bond.

School and social services officials said they could not discuss what happened to Hair's son after her death. Hair's relatives could not be located yesterday.

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