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Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 6/4/2008

Murders May 19-25: 3
Murders This Week: 2
Murders This Year: 81

Due to the Memorial Day holiday, last week's column only covered homicides between May 19 and 23. This week's column covers the homicides from May 24 to June 1. There have been 46 fewer murders this year than at the same time last year, putting Baltimore City on track to have fewer than 200 homicides for the first time since 1978.

Saturday, May 24

1:50 a.m. Ronald Crowell, a 21-year-old African-American man, was found lying on the sidewalk in the 1600 block of Normal Avenue near Clifton Park. He had been shot repeatedly and died at Johns Hopkins Hospital less than an hour later.

Sunday, May 25

12:25 a.m. Cedric Yarborough, an 19-year-old African-American man, was shot in the head in the 1100 block of East North Avenue across from Green Mount Cemetery. He died at Hopkins Hospital at 12:56 a.m.

Tuesday, May 27

8:01 a.m. Omar Spriggs, a 27-year-old African-American man, died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, 12 days after he was shot. Spriggs was one of four men shot at the corner of North Avenue and North Port Street in the Broadway East neighborhood on May 15. Tony Allen, a 52-year-old African-American man who was shot in the chest repeatedly, died that day. The other two victims survived.

11:20 a.m. Josephine House, a 63-year-old African-American woman, lived in the 1700 block of North Port Street, just a block away from where Spriggs and Allen were killed. House, her boyfriend, and her adult son were out in her backyard Monday night drinking. Her son went upstairs to bed around midnight. House and her boyfriend, Michael Falls, a 47-year-old African-American man, stayed up and continued drinking. The next morning, House's son woke up to the sound of the phone ringing. It was Falls asking to speak to House. The son went downstairs to get her and found his mother dead. There were no obvious signs of trauma, but an autopsy revealed that she had been strangled. Police questioned Falls, who allegedly confessed to killing House. He was charged with her murder on May 29. This is the fourth murder in Broadway East this year. Only Belair-Edison has had more murders.


Keon Dorsey, a 20-year-old African-American man, was arrested May 13 for the murder of Ellsworth Monroe-Bey, a 73-year-old African-American man whose name is also listed as Monroe Ellsworth in police reports. Monroe-Bey was attacked by a group of men on April 25. They beat him severely, and he died a week later.

On May 23, Michael Martin, a 28-year-old Caucasian man, was convicted of first-degree murder for the June 2007 slaying of Philip Airey, a 36-year-old Caucasian man. In relation to the same case, Robert Speake, a 19-year-old Caucasian man, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and other charges on April 7 and will be sentenced to 43 years in prison; and Tracy Asbury, a 37-year-old Caucasian woman, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and will be sentenced to 33 years in prison.

Donielle McCoy, a 20-year-old African-American man, was arrested May 27 for the May 14 murder of Marvin Lucas, a 21-year-old African-American man. McCoy was allegedly in a gunfight with Lucas when police arrived on the scene. McCoy was shot in the leg and ordered to stay where he was, but he managed to get into a car driven by a woman and flee the scene. The woman dropped McCoy off at Hopkins Hospital, where he was located by police. Lucas, who was also taken to Hopkins, died from his injuries. An 18-year-old African-American sitting on a nearby porch during the shootout was hit with a stray bullet in the leg but survived. Lucas was the only witness in the attempted murder case against Brandon Allen, a 23-year-old African-American man. The charges against Allen were dropped on May 28 as a result of Lucas' death. McCoy was one of two people Allen was accused of shooting on Oct. 1, 2007. According to a statement Lucas gave to the police, he and several friends were hanging out in the 300 block of South Caroline Street when Allen, who Lucas described as his half-brother, came up and shot at them. Lucas was not hit. In his statement he said he was coming forward to testify because "I know how my brother Brandon is and I know how my homeboys is and like I said in my statement that something has to be done before it get any crazier or somebody actually get killed and the next time somebody probably won't make it out the hospital."

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