Surveillance camera, Sun article left in mailbox help solve slaying

Man, 36, charged in April 7 fatal shooting

May 21, 2010|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

Terry Scott thought he had a handle on all the closed-circuit surveillance cameras in his North Baltimore neighborhood.

Brought in for questioning in the April 7 fatal shooting of Sean Ramseur, the 36-year-old acknowledged to detectives that he went to confront the victim in the 5200 block of York Road, according to charging documents. But he said someone else pulled up in a vehicle and shot Ramseur first.

Detective Martin Young told Scott that police had surveillance footage that showed one person run toward Ramsuer and fire a handgun. Not possible, Scott protested. There was once a "blue light" camera at the intersection, but it was removed, he said.

"[Scott said] he was aware of all the cameras in the area, and that camera was removed," Young wrote in court records.

But Scott didn't take into account a nearby company's surveillance system, which captured the incident. Scott, of the 5300 block of Lothian Road, was charged Thursday with first-degree murder in Ramseur's death.

Investigators were led to Scott by his girlfriend, according to records. She said Scott had assaulted her and taken her cell phone April 3.

On April 9, she said a copy of The Baltimore Sun was placed in her mailbox, and a short article about Ramseur's death was highlighted. She said he told her, "The same thing could happen to you." She turned over the article and a letter to police.

Based on that evidence, detectives brought Scott in for questioning. He said he was there when Ramseur was shot. He said he had gone to retrieve his girlfriend's cell phone, which he claimed she had sold for drugs.

Scott described Ramseur to detectives as "dangerous because he kept a gun nearby and had pulled a knife out on [Scott] earlier in the day," records show. He said he was with Ramseur when the vehicle pulled up, but police located a witness who was walking with Ramseur, and no vehicle entered the frame on the camera footage.

Police did not reveal a motive for the crime beyond Scott's account that he was trying to retrieve a cell phone.

Both the suspect and victim have criminal records.

In August 2009, Scott was sentenced to 10 years in prison on a burglary charge, but nine years and four months of the sentence were suspended — essentially a sentence of time served followed by three years' probation. He had prior convictions for assault and burglary.

Ramseur, meanwhile, was acquitted of first-degree murder and other charges in the stabbing of Gary Shipman, 28, on July 12, 2006, and was awaiting a May trial date on drug charges, according to court records.

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