In The Region


October 03, 2008

Gang member sentenced to life in prison in killing

A man with ties to the violent Salvadoran street gang known as MS-13 was sentenced yesterday to life in prison in the fatal shooting of a Dundalk woman over an alleged drug debt. Abraham Urquilla "Tigre" Rauda, 23, of Rosedale was convicted in July of first-degree murder, burglary and handgun charges. He was arrested in New York in September 2007, 11 days after witnesses said he was one of three or four men who broke into Lymaris Mejias' house in Dundalk and shot her in the head while she slept. Witnesses told authorities that a Baltimore drug dealer with ties to MS-13 had threatened the woman's life over a debt, according to court documents. Baltimore County Circuit Judge Vicki Ballou-Watts sentenced Rauda to life in prison for the fatal shooting and concurrent sentences of 10 years and 20 years, respectively, for the handgun and burglary convictions, said Baltimore County prosecutor John Magee.

Jennifer McMenamin

'Security breakdowns' noted in teens' escapes

The August escape of three teenage boys from a locked facility - the 11th in the past year and a half - resulted from "multiple security breakdowns," and the Department of Juvenile Justice must do more to prevent such breaches, the state juvenile justice monitor said in a report yesterday. In a written response, juvenile services officials said they have been making security improvements, including the installation of fence security systems and improved video surveillance and community notification. The monitor's 12-page report focused on the Aug. 10 escape of three teens from the Cheltenham Youth Facility in Prince George's County, a secure detention center for boys awaiting trial in juvenile court. Two 18-year-olds and a 17-year-old used wire-cutters stolen from the campus woodshop to cut through a razor-wire fence and flee on foot. The report said Cheltenham employees failed to keep watch over their charges; one of the escapees had been on suicide watch, meaning that he should have been under near-constant supervision. The escapees were recaptured within a week. Two Cheltenham employees were fired and two more disciplined because of policy violations surrounding the escape, according to juvenile services.

Julie Bykowicz

Police seek shooter in West Baltimore killing

Baltimore police continue to seek an unidentified man who fatally shot another man on a street in West Baltimore yesterday afternoon, said a police spokesman. Members of the citywide violent crimes impact division were near the 700 block of Allegany Place around Carey Street about noon when they heard several gunshots, said Agent Donny Moses, the spokesman. Moments later, Moses said, the plainclothes officers found the victim lying in the street, bleeding from several bullet wounds. He said the crew of a city Fire Department ambulance pronounced the victim dead at the scene and that his body was taken to the state medical examiner's office for an autopsy and possible identification through fingerprints. Metro Crime Stoppers at 410-276-8888 is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest and indictment in the killing.

Richard Irwin

BCCC unveils $500,000 in 'workforce' grants

Baltimore City Community College will provide more than 80 "Workforce Creation" scholarships to high school graduates and nontraditional students such as veterans, single parents and ex-offenders, President Carolane Williams has announced. More than $500,000 for the new BCCC scholarships will allow students to pursue careers in construction, allied health/nursing, bioscience and teaching. The fields were identified by both the Governor's Workforce Investment Board and the Baltimore Workforce Investment Board.

From Baltimore Sun staff reports

State to help nonprofit move into brewery site

State economic development officials are set to announce today a $360,000 grant to Humanim Inc. of Columbia to help the nonprofit organization with its move into the American Brewery site in East Baltimore. The money - which comes from the Department of Business and Economic Development's Brownfields Revitalization Incentive Program - is intended to help the human services agency with cleanup costs associated with the site. Humanim is scheduled to move about 250 employees into the renovated building this spring and also plans to hire about 60 employees from the surrounding community while offering employment programs and clinical support services.

Car falls on man, kills him in city salvage yard

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