Homicide detectives close 6 cases in a day

March 26, 2009|By Justin Fenton | Justin Fenton,justin.fenton@baltsun.com

Baltimore homicide detectives, who have been under scrutiny for a decline in the rate at which they solved murders in recent years, closed six cases Tuesday and made seven arrests, mostly by serving warrants on suspects being held on other charges.

Though killings are up to start the year, police have made more arrests and have a higher clearance rate - 63 percent - than at this point last year, when 53 percent of cases had been closed.

"Over the 20 years I've been in the unit, we've had some wild weekends with so many murders that we've arrested a lot of people, but to have this happen during a relatively quiet stretch, it's unusual," said Maj. Terrence McLarney, the homicide division commander.

* Police say Matthew Hooper, 26, a homeless man, broke into 62-year-old Daniel Hoeck's Northwest Baltimore home Feb. 12 with the intention of stealing tools. Hoeck, a Vietnam veteran who received two Purple Hearts, confronted him, police say, and was fatally stabbed twice.

* Malik Nance, 22, was arrested along with his brother, Marlon, 23. Prosecutors say the siblings were in a car whose occupants fired 29 shots Aug. 6, striking three men and killing 19-year-old Robert Buckner in the 1300 block of Bloomingdale Road in West Baltimore.

* Lawrence Walker, 19, became the seventh person arrested and charged in what law enforcement sources say was the gang-related beating and stabbing of Petro Taylor, whose burned body was found in Leakin Park in December. Police believe the suspects are connected to the Bounty Hunter Bloods gang.

* Linwood Buckson, 39, was arrested in the Dec. 15 killing of Oril Jackson Jr., who was shot in the 2600 block of E. Chase St. in Baltimore.

* Police arrested 15-year-old Radames Reyes, who is accused of ordering a pizza with the intention of robbing the delivery driver, Adama Diarra, 22, and fatally shooting him Nov. 23 after he resisted the teen's demands. Diarra was from Mali and studying English as a second language at Baltimore City Community College.

* Police also formally served an arrest warrant on Robert Lee Murphy, 22, who is accused of fatally shooting and killing Frederick cabdriver Stephen Mauk, 47, on Jan. 26. Murphy is being held in Howard County on unrelated charges.

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