Howard County police investigate first 2 homicides of the year

High school student charged in one killing; 3-year-old's suspicious death in April ruled a homicide this week

July 28, 2011|The Baltimore Sun

Howard County police are investigating a pair of unrelated homicides: the stabbing of a 17-year-old Wednesday night and the death of a 3-year-old boy in April whose death was ruled a homicide this week by the state medical examiner.

Police said that Christian Lendell Hall died Wednesday after being stabbed multiple times in his home in the 8700 block of Airybrink Lane. Hall was found by police about 10 p.m. in the hallway at his Long Reach apartment building. He was pronounced dead at Howard County General Hospital, police said.

Xavier Trevon Bates, 18, of Columbia, has been charged with first- and second-degree murder and first- and second-degree assault in connection with Hall's death, according to police.

A rising junior at Long Reach High School, Bates was being treated at Howard County General for a hand injury when he was arrested, police said.

Police believe the stabbing resulted from a fight earlier Wednesday stemming from a "personal dispute," police spokeswoman Sherry Lewellyn said.

Police said Bates came to Hall's home to fight him again, forced his way into Hall's apartment on the third floor of the brick, garden-style apartment, stabbed him several times and fled on his bicycle. Witnesses at the scene called police.

Police do not believe the killing was drug- or gang-related, Llewellyn said. Bates is now being held at the county detention center.

Hall did not attend high school in Howard County at the time of his death, according to Howard County schools spokeswoman Patti Caplan.

On Thursday, police ruled the April death of the 3-year-old boy a homicide after receiving an autopsy report from the Maryland medical examiner's office, which determined that the boy had been asphyxiated.

Police were called to the 9600 block of Basket Ring Road in Columbia about 4 a.m. April 13 after a parent reported that a child was not breathing. Elijah Izeal LaJueness was taken to Howard County General Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, according to police.

Even though there were no obvious signs of foul play, police said that investigators were suspicious. The initial examination by the medical examiner did not reveal the manner of death, but after further testing, the boy's death was ruled a homicide. Police said they do not have any suspects.

"The investigation is ongoing," Llewellyn said. "We're conducting interviews, but at this point no arrests have been made."

The two deaths are the first two homicides this year in Howard County. Last year, there were five homicides in the county.

The Howard County Times contributed to this article.

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