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Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 2/6/2008

Murders This Week: 3
Murders This Year: 16

Two homicide victims from earlier this year were identified recently. Isaiah McKeiver, a 19-year-old African-American male, was the person shot repeatedly in the 3500 block of Cliftmont Avenue in Belair-Edison on Jan. 17. The man shot to death in a parking lot in the 2000 block of West Lafayette Avenue on Jan. 25 was 24-year-old African-American man Michael Johnson.

Wednesday, Jan. 30

4:09 p.m. Darrell Holmes, a 16-year-old African-American male, was in his home in the 2200 block of Penrose Avenue near the West Baltimore MARC station with his 14-year-old cousin. The boys had a gun belonging to Holmes' father. The cousin took the magazine out of the gun but did not realize that there was still a round in the chamber. According to police, he shot Holmes in the face. Holmes died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center at 4:38 p.m. The cousin's name is not being released because he is being charged as a juvenile. The charge, according to police, is involuntary manslaughter.

Saturday, Feb. 2

8:44 a.m. Someone walking through a vacant lot in the 1600 block of West Lafayette Avenue near Harlem Park Elementary School found a man lying on the ground and called 911. When police arrived they found that the 62-year-old man had been shot in the chest and was dead. The person who called the police wasn't there when police arrived. Police are waiting until the victim's family has been notified to release his name.

10:10 a.m. An hour and half later on the east side, Victor Couther, a 19-year-old African-American man, was standing at the corner of East Federal and North Bond streets in Oliver. A car with two people in it pulled up to him. One of them got out and shot at Couther several times, striking him. The shooter then got back into the car and drove away. Couther was taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he died at 10:44 a.m. Couther was shot just a few blocks from the place where the Dawson family was murdered in 2002 in retaliation for reporting neighborhood drug dealing to the police. The city has since opened the Dawson Family Safe Haven Center at that location. This is the second homicide in Oliver in two weeks.

Updates

On Jan. 31, Rasul Brown, a 23-year-old African-American man, was convicted of second-degree murder, handgun violations, and assault in relation to the Jan. 8, 2007, murder of Marcus McDowell, a 16-year-old African-American male. A friend of McDowell's was being attacked in the 5100 block of Harford Road in Lauraville. McDowell ran over to help his friend and was shot several times.

Also on Jan. 31, the two teenagers convicted of the April 14, 2006, murder of Bryant Jones, a 42-year-old African-American man, were sentenced. Jamal Charles, a 17-year-old African-American male and the gunman, was sentenced to 50 years in prison, the maximum possible sentence according to the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office. Dwayne Drake, a 19-year-old African-American man, was sentenced to 40 years in prison. Jones was hosting his 16-year-old daughter's birthday party, at which Drake and Charles were guests. According to the State's Attorney's Office, Charles and Drake--who were 16 and 17 respectively at the time--were behaving badly at the party and smelled like they had been drinking. Jones asked them to leave several times. Drake and Charles argued with Jones, and then Charles, spurred on by Drake, fatally shot Jones in the head, arm, and chest.

On Feb. 1, Abdul Kareen Alvez-el, a 23-year-old African-American man, received three consecutive life sentences, plus an additional 60 years, for a 2006 double homicide. Alvez-el, like Charles, got the maximum sentence for the crimes he was convicted of. According to the State's Attorney's Office, on Feb. 2, 2006, Ricky Medley, a 19-year-old African-American man; Martrell Brown, a 16-year-old African-American male; and a third teenager were all at the Sunoco gas station at Cold Spring Lane and York Road. Medley and Brown got into a fight with a man at the gas station. Afterward, Medley, Brown, and the other teenager got back into their car and tried to leave the gas station. Alvez-el, who was not the man they were fighting with, then pulled out a gun and started shooting at the car, killing Medley and Brown. The car continued for several blocks until the third teenager, who was in the backseat, grabbed the wheel and crashed the car into a wall. He broke his arm but was not shot.

Davon Gardner, a 21-year-old African-American, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder on Feb. 1 and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. According to the State's Attorney's Office, Gardner and his co-defendant, Gerry Boatwright, a 17-year-old African-American male, drove to the 1700 block of North Castle Street on Oct. 2, 2006 to find Master Davis, a 16-year-old African-American male who was identified by police at the time as Bernard Davis, and his friend. Gardner got out of the car and shot at Davis and his friend, hitting Davis four times in the chest and his friend once in the lower back. Davis died; his friend survived. According to the State's Attorney's Office, "Gardner is an admitted Bloods gang member; the victims were reputed Bloods gang members." Boatwright pleaded guilty on May 3, 2007, to being an accessory after the fact to the crime. Boatwright was 15 at the time of the murder.

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