Brother Faces Charges

U.s. Agent Accused Of Murder Claims It Was An Accident

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

Curtis Warren, 36, is not the typical suspect charged in Baltimore with first-degree murder.

The federal agent, Iraq War veteran and supervisor in the Department of Veterans Affairs appeared at his bail review hearing this month after he was charged with killing his brother on April 5. A performance officer in President Barack Obama's administration wrote a letter to the court affirming Warren's good works in the community and importance in matters of national security.

But police - and on Friday, a city grand jury - accused Warren of deliberately killing Curtis A. Pounds.

Warren's defense attorney, J. Wyndall Gordon, says the case is a simple yet tragic mistake: Warren was fearful of people breaking into one of his Northeast Baltimore homes and slept with his service weapon nearby. When a prowler broke in at 4 a.m. April 5, Warren fired at the figure in the darkness, Gordon said. When he flipped on the light, Gordon said, Warren made a grisly discovery: It was his brother.

Gordon said of his client: "He immediately shut down - the whole thing was shocking," Gordon said. "This is a home invasion, and he never expected his brother to be the one [breaking in]. It was an accident."

At his bail review, a judge allowed Warren to post $250,000 bond, despite the severity of the charges. Police say the investigation supports first-degree murder charges.

Danielle Williams, a sister of Pounds and Warren, said she does not believe Warren's story. "I don't think he should be out, burglary or not," said Williams, of Pittsburgh, where both men are originally from. She called Warren's account "a lie."

The brothers' story is one of convergent paths. Warren, a graduate of Bowie State University, was recruited into the Department of Veteran Affairs four years ago after being injured in Iraq. He was given top-security responsibilities, requiring interaction with key personnel at the White House and the Department of Homeland Security.

Life hadn't gone as well for Pounds. He had a criminal record and trouble finding jobs, according to Gordon. Warren suggested he come to Baltimore and live in Warren's second home on Homesdale Avenue, where Warren kept a room and occasionally did work on the house and spent nights.

Pounds began associating with people involved in criminal activity, and it became common for the house to be burglarized, Warren said in court documents filed in January. Warren pressed charges, accusing Pounds of breaking in at least three times.

"I fear this situation and circumstances will have a negative impact on my job and current top-secret" clearance, he wrote in court papers in January. "I am fearful of coming home and finding someone in my bedroom again. I [am] afraid of his friends and them harming my family."

The burglary charges were dropped in February after Warren asked prosecutors to let him settle the matter in rent court.

Warren is to be arraigned May 20.

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