Death of woman pushed into traffic a homicide, but no charges

City police, prosecutors determine that boyfriend acted in self-defense

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

Baltimore police say the death of a woman who was pushed in front of a truck in February is being classified as a homicide, but the man who shoved her will not face criminal charges.

Tammy Madison, 45, died Feb. 16 after being struck in the 2400 block of Greenmount Ave. Witnesses told police that Madison had been fighting with her boyfriend and repeatedly hit him in the face, according to Anthony Guglielmi, a department spokesman.

Guglielmi said the boyfriend struck back, hitting her in the face with an open hand and causing her to stumble into the street, where she was run over by the rear wheels of an Isuzu delivery truck.

After interviewing the boyfriend and consulting with prosecutors, police decided not to charge the man. His actions were considered self-defense, Guglielmi said.

Some homicides that investigators determined were self-defense have not counted against the city's murder total once they were deemed "justified." Those include the Johns Hopkins student who killed an intruder with a samurai sword, and the killing of a 17-year-old in Northeast Baltimore who was stabbed by a man whom he had punched in the head.

"Under the [FBI's] Uniform Crime Reporting guidelines, you are allowed to repel a felony with use of force, but since there was no felony taking place [in Madison's death], only a common assault, it has to count as a murder," Guglielmi said. "There was no intent on the individual to kill his girlfriend. He was repelling her."

Madison's death brings the city's total homicide count for 2010 to 206, down from 218 at this point last year, for a decline of more than 5 percent.

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