Two men dead in shootings
Two men were fatally shot in separate incidents late Monday and early yesterday in different parts of Baltimore, according to city police. Police yesterday had not identified a man who was found shortly after midnight yesterday in a parked Toyota sedan in the 1100 block of Abbott Court at the Latrobe Homes public housing complex in East Baltimore. He had a gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead at Johns Hopkins Hospital at 12:35 a.m. Earlier in the evening, police officers found a wounded man in the 500 block of S. Smallwood St. The man, whose identity was not known, had been shot at least once in the head. He was pronounced dead at 11:59 p.m. Monday at Maryland Shock Trauma Center. The man was the second person to be fatally shot near the Westside Shopping Center since last month.
Gus G. Sentementes
Judge halts guilty plea
A Baltimore Circuit Court judge broke off a guilty plea in a murder case yesterday and ordered court medical staff to evaluate whether the defendant, who suffers from lead paint poisoning, could understand what was happening. Roger Lee Burks, 19, of the 4000 block of E. Madison St. is accused of killing Irvin Conley, 24, at a July 2006 cookout in the 4300 block of Glenmore Ave. Burks intended to enter a plea to voluntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. But as his attorney, Stanley H. Needleman, began to explain the plea, it became clear that Burks didn't understand. After a discussion with Needleman and prosecutor Robin Wherley at the bench, Bernstein ordered a competency evaluation.
Girl's death investigated
Baltimore police are investigating the death of a 23-month-old girl this month after the state medical examiner's office found traces of methadone in her body, authorities said. On Nov. 7, Ziona Lloyd was staying at her grandmother's house in the 1200 block of E. Lafayette St. when the grandmother found the girl unresponsive about 11:20 p.m. and called 911, police said. The girl was pronounced dead soon after at Johns Hopkins Children's Center. Officer Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman, said an autopsy found methadone in the girl's body, but an official cause and manner of death had not been determined. She said the state medical examiner's office was waiting on more detailed toxicology reports. With a young child, Monroe said, the state medical examiner's office noted that "any dose can be fatal." Monroe said detectives spoke with the grandmother, who acknowledged that she participated in a methadone program to treat a drug addiction. "She could not be sure that the victim did not get to the bottle," Monroe said. The grandmother told police that the girl - who lived with her mother in the 1800 block of W. Lanvale St. - vomited at one point in the evening, and was taken to rest in an upstairs bedroom. She was later unresponsive.
Gus G. Sentementes