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Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 3/5/2008

Murders This Week: 5
Murders This Year: 29

This has been Baltimore's most murderous week of the year so far, with five homicides. Despite that, there have still been 17 fewer murders as of March 3 than there were on the same date last year. The names of two homicide victims were released this week. The man shot to death Feb. 18 in the Staples parking lot by M&T Bank Stadium was Muriel Chew, a 20-year-old African-American. The man shot at Chase Street and Milton Avenue on Feb. 24 was Julius Pressley, a 23-year-old African-American.

There was a fourth police-involved shooting this week. Three police officers in the area near the 500 block of North Kenwood Avenue were approached by someone who told them a nearby store was being robbed. As the police headed toward the location, according to police, Craig Brunson, a 47-year-old African-American man, and another man were running from the scene of the robbery. Brunson, according to police, pointed a sawed-off shotgun at the officers, at least one of whom fired, shooting Brunson repeatedly and killing him. The other man involved in the robbery got away. All four of this year's police-involved shootings have been fatal. The FBI is currently investigating the Jan. 30 police-involved shooting of Edward Hunt, a 27-year-old African-American man. Hunt was unarmed when he was shot by police in the 2300 block of Northern Parkway.

Monday, Feb. 25

12:15 a.m. Eric Jones, a 23-year-old African-American man, was shot in the head in his home in the 700 block of West North Avenue in Reservoir Hill, two blocks from where the road connects to the Jones Falls Expressway. He was pronounced dead two minutes after police were called to the scene. A woman was also shot several times. She survived.

Wednesday, Feb 27

5:56 p.m. Edward Baylor, a 32-year-old African-American man, was driving a white Crown Victoria in the area around Pennsylvania and North avenues. Rebecca Meekins, a 16-year-old Caucasian girl was in the passenger street. As they drove, Baylor nearly collided with a green Jetta with at least three men inside. Baylor and the driver of the Jetta each lowered their windows and started arguing, daring each other to pull over so they could fight. Baylor stopped in the 1500 block of West Mount Royal Avenue in Bolton Hill, near the Maryland Institute College of Art. The Jetta stopped alongside Baylor, and someone from the Jetta opened fire, shooting both Baylor and Meekins repeatedly. Baylor tried to drive away but hit a parked car. The Jetta hit a car as well but managed to flee the scene. Baylor and Meekins were both taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where Meekins died at 6:25 p.m. and Baylor died 10 minutes later. Five people have been murdered in the Central Police District this year, making it second only to the Northeastern District in the number of homicides for this year. In past years, both districts have trailed far behind the Eastern and Western in number of homicides. There were 14 murders in the Central District in all of 2007.

Thursday, Feb. 28

11:40 p.m. Bernard Wallace, a 44-year-old African-American man, was shot repeatedly in the 1300 block of Bloomingdale Road in West Baltimore. He was taken to Shock Trauma, where he died at 7:15 a.m. the next day.

Saturday, March 1

12:47 a.m. A 29-year-old African-American man was found lying in the living room of a home in Central Park Heights. He had been shot several times and was dead. The man, whose name is being withheld until police can notify his family, was shot during an argument with another man in a home in the 5000 block of Denmore Avenue in Central Park Heights. This is the second homicide in Central Park Heights in less than a month.

Updates

Stephon Wallace, a 21-year-old African-American man, was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Feb. 28. Wallace was found guilty of the July 1, 2006 murder of Sheldon Anderson, a 27-year-old African-American man. Anderson was shot in the face. According to the Baltimore State's Attorney's Office, Wallace was previously brought up on drug charges, but those charges were dismissed on Jan. 31, 2006, because the primary officer, Jemini Jones, was under indictment. Jones, a member of the Southwestern District flex squad, was charged with rape; he was acquitted a year later.

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