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Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 1/30/2008

Murders This Week: 4
Murders This Year: 13

Thursday, Jan. 24

5:36 p.m. Sidney Millner and another person were found lying on the floor of D&W Liquors in the 1100 block of North Stricker Street in Sandtown-Winchester. Millner, a 25-year-old African-American man, had been shot repeatedly and died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center on Jan. 26 at 1:45 p.m. The other person was shot in the neck and was listed in critical condition at the hospital but survived.

Friday, Jan. 25

12:42 a.m. Irvin Lawson, a 32-year-old African-American man, was shot in the head on the steps of his home in the 900 block of Pennsylvania Avenue. He was taken to Shock Trauma, where he died 1:30 a.m. Lawson lived in Heritage Crossing, a development of townhouses that runs alongside Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Heritage Crossing was built as a replacement for the infamously dangerous Murphy Homes high rise, which was demolished in 1999. This is the first murder at Heritage Crossing during the time period (2004 to present) that information has been collected for this column.

4:33 p.m. That evening, police received a call for a shooting at the intersection of West Lafayette Avenue and Payson Street in West Baltimore's Midtown-Edmondson neighborhood. When the officer got to the intersection he was flagged down by someone who directed him to a nearby parking lot where a small group of people were standing around an African-American man who had been shot. The shooting victim was conscious and spoke briefly to police. He died an hour later at Shock Trauma. Police are waiting until the man's family has been notified of his death to release his name.


A death from last week was added to the homicide rolls on Jan. 22. Police were called to Johns Hopkins Hospital on Jan. 16. Lisa Holley, a 38-year-old Caucasian woman, was being treated there, and her injuries were suspicious. She was initially treated for a seizure that was supposedly caused by a fall, but upon examining her doctors discovered that she had a ruptured spleen, liver damage, and suspicious bruises. Police went to Holley's home in the 2700 block of Pelham Avenue near Herring Run Park and interviewed the people there. According to witnesses, Holley and her boyfriend, 40-year-old Caucasian man Thomas Dietrich, had an argument in their bedroom around 2 a.m. on Jan. 15. Holley was heard saying, "Get off me," and when she was seen again she appeared disoriented and her skin was an odd color. Medics were called.

According to police, Dietrich has a history of domestic-abuse complaints, including one in which he allegedly threatened to kill Holley. Police interviewed Dietrich, who they say denied attacking Holley but admitted that they fought a lot and he sometimes hit her in self-defense. According to police Dietrich is 6-foot-2 and weighs 225 pounds. Holley was 5-foot-4 and weighed 150 pounds. On Jan. 17, Dietrich was charged with assaulting Holley. She died at Hopkins Hospital on Jan. 20 at 9:30 a.m., and her death was ruled a homicide two days later. On Jan. 23, Dietrich was charged with her murder. Holley is the first woman murdered this year. She is the third person murdered in Belair-Edison in the first 20 days of this year.

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