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Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 12/12/2007

Murders This Week: 0
Murders This Year: 270

There were no murders this week. This is only the second time since this column debuted in July 2004 that there has been an entire week without a homicide. According to police spokesman Sterling Clifford, there were also no shootings between Dec. 2 and Dec. 6. "We're starting to see the pay off of the targeted enforcement and community engagement strategies we've been working," Clifford says. "No one's taking victory laps. No one's saying we're done, but we're certainly working in the right direction."


The murder of Kahlil Taylor, a 22-year-old African-American man, has been closed by exception. Taylor and three other people were shot in the street on Aug. 30--all but Taylor survived. Gary Watts, a 21-year-old African-American man, was shot and killed two days later in a drive-by shooting around the corner from where Taylor was shot. Police believe that Watts, a 21-year-old African-American man, was responsible for the Aug. 30 shooting. On Nov. 28, police arrested Elliott Wilkes, a 21-year-old African-American man, for Watts' murder.

Trent Earll's homicide case has also been closed by exception. Earll, a 25-year-old Caucasian man, was shot on March 24, 1997, but died on Sept. 4 of this year due to medical issues from the shooting. William McBeth, an African-American man who was 19 at the time of shooting, was tried and convicted of second-degree assault for the attack and sentenced to 10 years in prison for shooting Earll and cannot be retried.

On Nov. 2, Moncell Price, a 21-year-old African-American man, was charged with numerous crimes including murder and armed robbery for the death of Dante Watson, a 21-year-old African-American man. Watson was stabbed in the neck in his apartment on Jan. 15.

Police arrested Brandon Holland, a 25-year-old African-American man, at his home in the 2300 block of Dukeland Street on Nov. 30. Holland was charged with the Aug. 1 murder of Carl Barnes, a 35-year-old African-American man.

Lataye King, a 17-year-old African-American female, pleaded guilty on Dec. 6 to the murder of Nicole Edmonds, a 17-year-old African-American female. Kendrick McCain, a 16-year-old African-American male, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and assault for his role in Edmonds' death. King was sentenced to life in prison with all but 25 years suspended. McCain was sentenced to 15 years in prison with all but five years suspended. According to the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office, McCain and King went up to Edmonds and her brother after they got off the light rail at North Avenue on Nov. 7, 2006. Edmonds' brother was knocked down and Edmonds was stabbed as she tried to get away. King was 16 and McCain was 15 at the time of the crime.

On Dec. 7, Paul Barton, a 26-year-old African-American man, pleaded guilty to murdering Shaheed Boyd, a 24-year-old African-American man, on April 29, 2006. Barton was sentenced to 30 years in prison with all but 13 of those years suspended.

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