Man, 20, charged in fatal beating of 42-year-old man in Northwest Baltimore

August 13, 2012|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

City police have charged a 20-year-old man in the fatal beating of a 42-year-old man in a Northwest Baltimore gas station parking lot, officials said. 

Police were called to the 3300 block of Garrison Blvd., in the Forest Park neighborhood, at about 8:45 p.m on Aug. 5 for a report of an intoxicated man being beaten by a young male with a "stick of nails," police said. When officers arrived, at the BP gas station, a crowd of people directed officers to the victim, who was unresponsive and taken to Sinai Hospital. 

According to charging documents, Victor Asbell got into an argument with a group of males when one of them punched him in the head, causing him to fall and hit his head on the pavement. Police said the attacker grabbed a "wooden board with nails protruding from it and began to strike the victim multiple times with it."

Asbell died from his injuries at about 5 a.m. on Sunday, police said. Later that day, police charged 20-year-old Keonta Johnson with a warrant charging him with attempted first-degree murder and assault, charges that were expected to be upgraded following Asbell's death, officials said. 

Johnson, who lived in a nearby group home according to court records, was identified by witnesses through photo lineups is being held without bond. 

Johnson is on probation stemming from a December 2010 guilty plea on charges of second-degree assault, and has two minor drug cases pending in Baltimore Circuit Court. 

This year, 128 people have been killed in Baltimore, compared with 129 at this time last year.

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