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Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 12/21/2005

Murders This Week: 3
Murders This Year: 262

Murder Ink did not run last week, so this week’s column covers the weeks of Dec. 5-11 and Dec. 12-18.

A death was removed from the homicide rolls earlier this month. According to Baltimore Police Department spokesman Matt Jablow, Maryland State Police determined that the July 14 beating death of James Royster “did not meet the standards of a murder.”

The death of Baltimore Times columnist Lorenzo Handy has been deemed a homicide. Police officers found Handy’s body at 3:44 p.m. on Nov. 25 by a fire escape behind the Tiber Bookshop at 24 W. 25th St. in Charles Village. On Dec. 8, the medical examiner ruled that the death of the 67-year-old African-American man was due to blunt-force trauma.


Monday, Dec. 5

1:06 a.m. Rashard Thomas, a 19-year-old African-American man, was found dead on the sidewalk in the 1200 block of Ensor Street in Oliver near Johnston Square Elementary School. He had been shot in the head and chest. This is the sixth homicide in Oliver this year.


Friday, Dec. 9

12:01 a.m. Police found Talib Damon, a 21-year-old African-American man, and Timothy Ford Jr., a 23-year-old African-American man, lying on the sidewalk in the 3200 block of Phelps Lane in Southwest Baltimore. They were both taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center. Damon, who was shot in the head and body, died at 12:55 a.m. Ford, who was shot in the body and extremities, died about 20 minutes later.


Sunday, Dec. 11

8:23 p.m. Damian Mitchell, a 28-year-old African-American man, was shot to death in the 6000 block of Amberwood Road in Northeast Baltimore’s Frankford neighborhood. Brian Keith Jones, an 18-year-old African-American from Arcadia, was arrested two days later and charged with first-degree murder.

Thursday, Dec. 15

1 a.m. A person was found shot and lying in the grass in the 500 block of McElderry Street in Old Town Mall. The victim was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital but died at 1:36 a.m. Police have declined to identify the victim until his or her next of kin has been notified.

1:27 a.m. Half an hour later, near the Belvedere Square shopping center in North Baltimore, another person who had been shot was found lying in the grass. Mohamed Abukar Barre, a 26-year-old African-American man, was shot in the head in front of his apartment building in the 400 block of East Belvedere Avenue. He was taken to Sinai Hospital, where he died at 1:59 a.m.


Friday, Dec. 16

5:29 p.m. Jonathan Coles, a 23-year-old African-American man, was standing in the 1700 block of East Preston Street in Broadway East when two men came up to him. Coles talked to the men, then witnesses heard a gunshot and saw the men rifling through Coles’ pockets before running down an alley. Coles was shot in the back of the head. He was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital but died the next day. This is the eighth murder this year in Broadway East, which is directly to the east of Oliver.


Saturday, Dec. 17

6:50 a.m. Byron Lee Bell, a 24-year-old African-American man from Aberdeen, was shot repeatedly in the neck and body in the 5100 block of Park Heights Avenue near Pimlico Race Course. Bell was taken to Sinai, where he died less than half an hour later.

9:05 a.m. Three hours after Bell was shot, William Lowe, a 43-year-old Caucasian man from Rosedale, was at the corner of Orleans Street and Belnord Avenue in the McElderry Park neighborhood. He was shot and died at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center at 3:56 p.m. Police believe the murder happened as part of a robbery.

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