21-year-old man charged in two shootings, one fatal

Attacks linked by common shotgun shells, witness account

September 07, 2010|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

A 21-year-old Northeast Baltimore man has been charged in two shootings — one killed a man, the other injured a teenage girl — after police matched the shotgun shells from the crime scenes.

Monta York, of the 2800 block of Clifton Park Terrace, was first charged with an Aug. 27 shooting that injured a girl in the 3100 block of Belair Road. Now police have added murder charges in the Aug. 6 killing of 20-year-old Jarrod Lee Covel.

Records indicate that detectives matched shotgun shell casings from the two crime scenes after identifying York as the shooter.

Detectives appear to have only one witness, who says York admitted to both shootings, but wrote in charging documents that the state's attorney's office "reviewed this case and endorsed me to obtain an arrest warrant." State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy has come under fire from her opponent during her re-election campaign for a general policy discouraging cases in which there is only one witness.

A law enforcement source not authorized to speak about the investigation said police had linked York to Covel's shooting last month, but prosecutors blocked them from moving forward after a witness changed their account. A spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office denied the claim.


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