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Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 7/30/2008

Murders This Week: 5
Murders This Year: 122

The man found dead inside a vacant house in the 5000 block of Pembridge Avenue in Central Park Heights on July 18 has been identified as Kevin McKnight, a 45-year-old African-American man.

The death of Anthony Coates, a 45-year-old African-American man, has been removed from the Baltimore Police Department's official homicide tally. Coates was shot to death on July 16 in the 3800 block of Hayward Avenue. He had allegedly broken into a man's house in that block. During the robbery the man found Coates in his home and fatally shot him as he was leaving. The BPD's homicide total and the total recorded by this column are now the same.

Monday, July 21

10 a.m. Employees at the Family Dollar Store in the 1200 block of West Pratt Street arrived for their shifts, but the store was still locked. There was no sign of assistant manager Elizabeth Queensbury, a 51-year-old African-American woman, who was supposed to open the store. The employees called another assistant manager, who came and opened the store. When they got inside they found Queensbury, who had been stabbed extensively and was dead. Police believe she may have been killed during a robbery. Queensbury is the 22nd female murdered this year. There were 24 females killed in all of 2007, a year with a dramatically higher homicide rate.

8:05 p.m. That night, officers were near the 3800 block of Park Heights Avenue on an unrelated call when they saw smoke coming from behind that block. When they got to where the smoke was coming from they found firefighters putting out a burning car. Justin Harrison, a 27-year-old African-American man, was found in the front passenger seat of the vehicle. He was burned so extensively that initially his race and sex could not be determined. Harrison was also shot at least once in the head.

Friday, July 25

9:45 a.m. Donell Rogers, a 21-year-old African-American man, and Quinton Hogan, a 23-year-old African-American man, were driving a Jeep Cherokee in the 5500 block of Wabash Avenue near the Rogers Avenue Metro stop. They were stopped in traffic when a white sedan pulled up behind them. A person got out, ran over to their car, and started shooting at them. The person then jumped back into the sedan and sped off. Both Rogers and Hogan were shot in the upper body and died before they could be taken to the hospital.

Sunday, July 27

1:53 a.m. A person walking in the 5500 block of Ivanhoe Avenue in the Mid-Govans neighborhood saw a man lying by a trash bin in Dewees Park and called 911. Medics arrived and took Tyrone McCray, a 28-year-old African-American man who had been shot in the back of the neck, to Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was dead by the time he arrived.

Updates

On July 21, Ronald Hinton, a 17-year-old African-American male, was sentenced to life plus 25 years in prison for the May 6, 2006, rape and murder of Ja'niya Williams, a 4-year-old African-American girl. (For more information on this case see "Puzzling Evidence," page 14).

Darryl Halsey, a 26-year-old African-American man, was convicted of first-degree murder and handgun violations on July 21. According to the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office, on May 16, 2007, Earl Cornish, a 21-year-old African-American man, got into an argument with a woman and slapped her on the ass. The woman called her brother, Halsey, who fatally shot Cornish in the back in the 500 block of Chateau Avenue.

On July 25, George Scruggs, a 35-year-old African-American man, pleaded guilty to the murder of Darnell Thomas, a 23-year-old African-American man. According to the State's Attorney's Office, Thomas and Scruggs got into an argument on Aug. 29, 2007. Thomas hit Scruggs in the face with a beer bottle, and Scruggs fatally shot Thomas several times. Scruggs was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

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