Crime Briefs

February 02, 2010

Sentencing delayed for youth in beating of fisherman, 76

Sixteen-year-old Emmanuel Miller, who was found to have participated in the group beating of a 76-year-old black fisherman last summer - a racially motivated crime, according to police - is to be sentenced next week in juvenile court. He was scheduled for disposition Monday, but the case was held over because an evaluation report was incomplete. Miller, who has a lengthy record of breaking and entering, could be sent to a secure out-of-state facility for rehabilitation. His attorney asked that Miller be allowed to stay home, however, under electronic monitoring. His co-defendants, self-described white supremacist Calvin E. Lockner, a 28-year-old registered sex offender, and Zachary Watson, now 18, are awaiting trial in Baltimore Circuit Court. Miller was initially charged as an adult.

- Tricia Bishop

Police seek man suspected in Balto. County burglaries

Baltimore County police have identified a man they believe is responsible for the smash-and-grab burglary of a closed Royal Farms store Jan. 18 in Towson and several other burglaries. Police obtained an arrest warrant for Steven Lee Blankenship, 27, after linking him to the Towson burglary, during which a large quantity of cigarettes was taken. Blankenship - who has no fixed address but is known to frequent the Dundalk area of Baltimore County, as well as Harford County, authorities say - is also suspected of committing at least three other nighttime burglaries of stores in the area. In each case, police say, a plate-glass window was smashed to gain entry. Last week, police released a surveillance photograph of a man burglarizing the Towson store and asked for the public's help in identifying him. The photo prompted someone to call police over the weekend and identify the suspect as Blankenship. In addition to the break-in at the Royal Farms store in the 600 block of Southwick Drive on Jan. 18, for which Blankenship has been charged with burglary, police believe he also broke into the High's Dairy Store in the 15000 block of Hanover Pike in Upperco; Wally's Country Store in the 19000 block of Middletown Road in Parkton ; and the Maryland Line Service Center in the 21000 block of York Road in Parkton.

-Nick Madigan

DNA leads to second arrest in abduction, fatal shooting

A DNA match led police to make a second arrest in the abduction and murder of a 24-year-old man found shot to death in a West Baltimore alley last April, according to court records. Aaron J. Davis, 24, faces 23 criminal charges in connection with the death of Qonta Waddell, who was hogtied and carried away from his mother's home by two men with handguns. Waddell was later found shot to death in the 3100 block of Windsor Ave. Charging documents say the men took $3,000 from Waddell and drove him around the city trying to scrounge up more cash. They eventually took $5,000 from a safe and had him make a phone call to secure $50,000 in ransom money, records show. In May, Sherman Anderson was charged in the crime. Police recently received word that DNA collected from the scene had been matched to Davis, who according to police gave a taped confession admitting to his role in Waddell's abduction but denying that he was present for the shooting. Anderson is scheduled to go to trial Feb. 25 in Baltimore Circuit Court.

- Justin Fenton

Jury selection in street race trial continues after dark

Jury selection went past the normal workday in the trial of a 20-year-old man charged in the deaths of eight people who had gathered to watch an illegal street race. Authorities say Tavon Taylor and his friend were racing when they came upon a crowd watching another race in rural southern Prince George's County. The other car, driven by Darren Bullock, plowed into the spectators and ended up down an embankment with one of the victims inside. Bullock pleaded guilty last week to eight counts of vehicular manslaughter and faces 15 years in prison. Taylor faces the same charges. Jury selection was still going on Monday evening, in large part because of pretrial publicity. Opening statements are expected to begin today.

- Associated Press

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