Sixth suspect arrested in killing

Authorities say victim, attackers part of Bounty Hunters enforcement gang

March 12, 2009|By Justin Fenton | Justin Fenton,

When members of the Bloods gang step out of line, authorities say, the Bounty Hunters step in.

Two Baltimore members of the group - an enforcement arm of the Bloods gang - were convicted last year of shooting a fellow member in the back of the head for "false-flagging," or misrepresenting his status in the gang.

In 2006, a California Bloods member, who was sent across the country to Baltimore to separate real Bloods from wannabes, slashed Terrance Randolph, 19, with a boxcutter, smashed him with a sledgehammer, stabbed him with a samurai sword and set his body on fire. Randolph's offense was mishandling money in a drug deal and getting into a fight against gang leaders' orders.

Now, police say they have arrested a sixth suspect in the killing of Petro Taylor, 20, whose body was found set on fire in Leakin Park in late December. Authorities believe he and his attackers were affiliated with the Bounty Hunters, his killing the apparent result of failing to deposit money into the prison spending account of a gang leader, according to two sources with knowledge of the investigation.

Law enforcement sources with knowledge of the gang say the Bounty Hunters are active throughout the Baltimore region, conducting investigations and "policing" Bloods members. They estimate the group's membership at 20 to 30, though street sources said it is far larger.

Taken into custody yesterday was Devin Melton, 17, of the 5100 block of Nelson Ave. and a student Edmondson High School. Police believe he was one of a group of suspects who had gathered for a party at the Red Carpet Inn in Northwest Baltimore and attacked Taylor.

Sources with knowledge of the investigation, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the case, say Taylor was beaten at the motel and wrapped in a blanket. Unconscious, he was tossed into a trunk, driven to Leakin Park and stabbed nearly three dozen times.

Police say that Taylor was then doused with gasoline and set on fire. Items found at the scene helped lead detectives back to the motel, where they were able to obtain surveillance camera footage that showed a blanket-wrapped body being tossed into the trunk.

The others charged in the crime are: Greshuana Rogers, 16; Sierra Pyle, 19; Tenisha Lawson, 18; Terrell Tavon Gray, 23; and Anthony O. Williams, 23. All are charged as adults with first-degree murder and are scheduled to make their first court appearance March 31.

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