Guilty verdict in killing

Conspiracy conviction

2 await trial in shooting of neighborhood handyman suspected of handing over trio's drug stash to police

January 24, 2009|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,gus.sentementes@baltsun.com

The neighbors knew Ricardo Paige as "Pops," a kind man who lived and worked as a handyman in the Pen Lucy neighborhood renovating vacant houses for landlords.

But Paige, police and prosecutors believe, unknowingly crossed the wrong people in the neighborhood. Authorities believe that drug dealers who used vacant houses on the block thought Paige might have turned over a drug stash to police. On March 20, 2007, they confronted him in the house where he was living and working, in the 500 block of E. 43rd St., and shot him six times, including once in the mouth.

Police eventually arrested three suspects in the case, including one who was caught in Georgia last year after Paige's killing was featured on America's Most Wanted.

Late Wednesday, a Baltimore jury convicted one of the suspects, Trendon Washington, 21, of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

The jury was unable to reach agreement on first-degree murder and handgun counts against Washington, and prosecutors said they have the option of retrying him on those charges. Washington, like the other two men accused in Paige's killing, lived in the neighborhood.

The other suspects, Jamal Fulton, 22, of the 500 block of E. 43rd St., and Kevin Armstead, 26, of the 700 block of E. 43rd St., have trials pending.

Armstead was arrested while working at a car wash last March in Decatur, Ga., four days after he was featured on the television show that broadcasts stories about fugitives.

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