Crime Watch


December 20, 2008

Harford deputy, suspect shot as warrant served

A Harford County sheriff's deputy and a suspect were shot during an exchange of gunfire early yesterday in Cecil County, authorities said. About 5 a.m. three Harford deputies, who were helping the Cecil County Narcotics Task Force, were serving a drug warrant in the 300 block of Old Conowingo Road in Conowingo. The officers were trying to get into the bedroom of the owner, James William Ratledge, 60, who was holding the door closed, authorities said. Ratledge fired a handgun through the wall, striking a Harford County sheriff's deputy in the upper left chest, authorities said. Two members of the task force, a Maryland state trooper and an officer from the Elkton Police Department, returned fire, striking the suspect three times in the torso, police said. Initially, the suspect refused to come out of his bedroom, but after 10 minutes, officers persuaded him to surrender, according to Greg Shipley, a spokesman for the state police. The suspect was taken by helicopter to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was in critical condition last night. The deputy, whom authorities did not identify, is an eight-year veteran. He was wearing a bulletproof vest and suffered minor injuries, authorities said. He was taken to Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace, where he was treated. Authorities said the deputy was released a short time later.

David Kohn

Man shot and killed in Northeast Baltimore

A 19-year-old man was fatally shot in Northeast Baltimore yesterday, city police said. Officers responding to a call for a shooting found Thaddeus McCauley of the 1100 block of E. Belvedere Ave. in the middle of the street in the 1400 block of Homestead St., police said. The homicide happened in the Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello neighborhood, where court records indicate McCauley was living earlier this year. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 1:26 a.m.

Liz F. Kay

Man charged with fatally stabbing girlfriend

Baltimore County police arrested and charged a 47-year-old man who they said called to report stabbing his girlfriend after an argument early yesterday in Halethorpe. Brian Mark Heacock of the 2700 block of Ottawa Ave. in Baltimore was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Karen Marie Shell, 48, police said. Officers went to Shell's home in the 1700 block of Arbutus Ave. after receiving the 911 call about 1:10 a.m. and found her fatally stabbed in a bed, said Bill Toohey, a police spokesman. The caller had left the scene but phoned police over the next two hours saying that he wanted to turn himself in. Police met the man at the Halethorpe post office and arrested him about 3:30 a.m., Toohey said. Heacock was being held without bail at the county detention center, police said.

From Baltimore Sun staff reports

Selling prescriptions to kids draws term

Kathleen Ann Harris, a 39-year-old Olney woman, was sentenced to 13 years in federal prison yesterday for selling prescription drugs to Boonsboro high school students, one of whom died. According to her plea agreement, Harris and her now 37-year-old boyfriend, Robert Carroll Eichelberger, began selling oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone in 2006. Harris obtained the drugs from physicians, ostensibly to treat her medical problems, but resold them to kids. At a hearing in Baltimore U.S. District Court in January, where Harris entered her guilty plea, she admitted to selling a fatal dose of methadone to 17-year-old Harry L. "Trey" Angle, who died in July 2007 after consuming alcohol with Harris and Eichelberger and taking the medication. This month, Eichelberger, who lives in Hagerstown, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison on the same charge.

Tricia Bishop

Member of city drug ring gets 14-year sentence

A high-ranking member of a Baltimore drug ring was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison yesterday for conspiring to distribute more than 1 kilogram of heroin, the Maryland U.S. attorney's office announced. According to his plea agreement, Eric Davis, 30, and his cohorts sold heroin throughout Baltimore with brand names such as "hypnotic" and "chocolate city." Davis was considered a "street lieutenant" in the gang, overseeing the operation of various drug shops, collecting the proceeds and replishing supplies. Seven other drug organization members have pleaded guilty on various drug charges and have been sentenced to between eight and 19 years in prison.

Tricia Bishop

State trooper indicted in theft of $3,200

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