Charges filed in killing of man found on highway

January 01, 2009|By Nick Madigan | Nick Madigan,

A 37-year-old man has been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of a man whose body was found lying in a traffic lane of Pulaski Highway near White Marsh, Baltimore County police said yesterday. Gregorio Vergara, who lived in the same house in Dundalk as the victim, was arrested Monday evening and charged yesterday in the killing of Carlos Arizta, 28.

When Arizta's body was discovered shortly before 11 p.m. Sunday in the 11000 block of Pulaski Highway, a call to police had reported the incident as a hit and run, said Bill Toohey, a police spokesman. Later, the medical examiner determined that Arizta had died of a gunshot wound to the face, Toohey said.

From information found on his body, police established that Arizta lived in the 7000 block of Brentwood Ave. in Dundalk. Detectives who went to the address met Vergara, who identified the victim from a photograph. Vergara said he and a man known only as Chanchito had been with Arizta on Sunday evening and that Chanchito and the victim became embroiled in an argument while riding in a car, police said in a statement.

Chanchito pulled out a gun and shot Arizta, the statement said. Vergara told investigators that he had been driving the car and slowed down so that Chanchito could push the body onto the road. Shortly afterward, Chanchito got out of the car, Vergara told police.

Vergara was denied bail and was being held in the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Police were looking for the man known as Chanchito yesterday, according to Toohey.

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