SWAT team made arrest in North Ave. murder

Suspect evaded prison in two carjacking cases

March 22, 2012|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

Members of the Baltimore Police SWAT team made an arrest in a fatal shooting Tuesday night after following a man seen scurrying away from the crime scene, court records show.

Guy Leon Thomas, 22, of the 1800 block of Ashburton, was seen discarding a handgun and after being taken into custody confessed to the murder of 23-year-old Dexter Maurice Jones Jr., according to charging documents. A motive is not described in the court papers.

Officers were dispatched to the 1800 block of Ashburton St., at North Avenue, for a report of a shooting and found Jones face-down suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to his arm and body. 

Members of the SWAT team began an area canvas and saw Thomas walking on Braddish Avenue, nervously looking back at the officers and appearing to conceal something in his waistband. When the officers asked to speak to him, he took off running, and threw a large revolver onto the ground. 

Officer Donald Medtart found Thomas hiding in a wooded area near a railroad bridge in the 2600 block of Baker Street, officers wrote in charging documents. They searched him and found 10 ziplock baggies with suspect marijuana. 

Homicide detectives took control of the investigation and say Thomas confessed to the shooting. 

Jones did not appear to have a criminal record. 

But Thomas has been arrested several times in recent years; in 2010 he was locked up for carjacking charges and received a 15-year prison sentence, but all but time served was suspended, records show. He was then charged in March 2011 with carjacking and kidnapping of a minor, and the charges were placed on the inactive docket by prosecutors, effectively dropping them. It was not immediately clear why.

While incarcerated, he was charged with possession a "recording or telecommunications device in a place of confinement," a charge typically associated with having a cell phone in jail. Those charges are pending. 

The on-view murder arrest by officers was significant, especially in light of recent struggles to close homicide cases in Baltimore. Only about a quarter of this year's homicides have been closed by an arrest, officials say.

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