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Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 11/5/2008

Murders This Week: 4
Murders This Year: 185

The person stabbed to death during a domestic dispute on Oct. 21 was incorrectly identified in last week's column. His name was Kenneth Ringgold, not Keith Ringgold. City Paper regrets the error.

The person shot to death on Oct. 25 in the 2400 block of Loyola Southway has been identified as Jason Betts, a 25-year-old African-American man.

There was a fatal police-involved shooting this week. According to police, on Oct. 28 Dale Graham, a 29-year-old African-American man, got into an argument with the mother of his two children at a house in the 800 block of North Belnord Avenue. The woman's brother, who was in the house, tried to help her, and Graham allegedly stabbed them both. When police arrived, Graham was still allegedly stabbing both the woman and her brother. According to police, Graham did not heed police instructions and was shot to death. This is the 19th police-involved shooting this year. Police-involved shootings have resulted in the deaths of 13 people this year.

Wednesday, Oct. 29

7:07 p.m. Police were called to the 600 block of McKewin Avenue near Stadium Place in Waverly for a shooting. When they arrived they found a blood trail that led from the front porch of a house into the kitchen. Mark Vines, a 22-year-old African-American man, was on the front porch with a group of men when someone came up to them, pulled out a gun, and shot Vines in the back. No one else was hit. Vines died at an area hospital an hour later.

Friday, Oct. 31

7:39 a.m. Harley Johnson, a 27-year-old African-American man, was shot numerous times in the head in the 2200 block of Echodale Avenue in Lauraville. He was dead by the time police discovered him.

Saturday, Nov. 1

8:58 p.m. Mark Henson, an 18-year-old African-American male, was found lying on the ground in the 1500 block of McKean Avenue in Sandtown-Winchester. He had been shot repeatedly in the head and face and was dead. A 16-year-old African-American male was shot in the thigh during the incident. Police found him five blocks away. He survived.

Sunday, Nov. 2

2:24 a.m. A police officer on patrol in the 1800 block of East Monument Street by Johns Hopkins Hospital was flagged down by a man who said his friend had just been shot. The man and his friend Anthony Rainer, a 25-year-old African-American man, had been driving around downtown when they stopped at an unknown location. Rainer got out of the car. The friend stayed behind. He heard three gunshots and saw Rainer come back to the car. Rainer had been shot in the left side. The friend drove Rainer to Hopkins to be treated, but he died five hours later. Police are still trying to determine where the shooting actually occurred.


On Oct. 21, Patrick Wilkes, a 24-year-old African-American man, pleaded guilty to three murders that took place in April and May of 2007. The men who were murdered were: Johnnie James, a 25-year-old African-American man, shot in the head on April 18, 2007, in Carrollton Ridge; Adrian Beasley, a 23-year-old African-American man shot in the head on May 5, 2007, in Pigtown; and Deandre Salmond, a 19-year-old African-American man who was shot 10 days later, also in Carrollton Ridge.

Wilkes was arrested on May 26, 2007, after he robbed a man of his cell phone at gunpoint. The gun was tested and linked to Beasley's murder. Wilkes pleaded guilty to the robbery on Oct. 21 as well, and was also convicted of another armed robbery. Wilkes has not yet been sentenced, but he could serve 60 years in prison.

The same day Wilkes pleaded guilty, Anthony White, a 24-year-old African-American man--and Wilkes' first cousin--also pleaded guilty to Salmond's murder. Charges against him for Beasley's murder were dropped.

Schvel Mack, an 18-year-old African-American male, was also charged with the shootings that left Salmond dead. Mack pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and other charges on Sept. 12, 2008, and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Antonio White, a 25-year-old African-American man, was charged with James' murder, but his case is ongoing.

Calvin Puryear, a 21-year-old African-American man, pleaded guilty on Oct. 27 to the murder of Christine Richardson, a 15-year-old African-American girl. Richardson's mother arrived home from work just after 2 a.m. on July 10, 2007, and found her daughter stabbed to death in a bedroom in their home in the 300 block of South Fulton Avenue. Puryear was arrested the next day. According to the state's Attorney's Office, Puryear told police that he had been present at the time of the murder but had only held Richardson down while another young African-American man named Lloyd Chase killed her. Chase, then 17 years old and a friend of Richardson's family, was arrested for the murder. Chase denied being in the house when Richardson was killed. He told police that Puryear had confessed to him that he had killed the girl. He said he went to Richardson's house to see what had happened and called 911. Police were able to verify that Chase did call 911, and the DNA found on Richardson matched Puryear and not Chase. Chase pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact for his involvement earlier this year. Puryear has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Maurice Crosby, a 20-year-old African-American man, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter on Oct. 31 for killing Marine reservist Michael Simms. The maximum sentence for involuntary manslaughter is 10 years in prison. Simms, an 18-year-old African-American man, was home from boot camp on June 10, 2007, and was hanging out with some friends on South Chapel Street in Washington Hill. Crosby and Erica Ammenhauser, a Caucasian woman who was 20 at the time, began fighting with Simms' friends. Simms tried to help his friends and was stabbed in the chest. Ammenhauser pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree assault on June 10, 2008. A third defendant, Kinlaw "Baby Boy" Jones, a Caucasian man who was 18 at the time of the stabbing, pleaded guilty to assault and a weapons charge on June 10, 2008, and was sentenced to time served.

On Oct. 29, the Baltimore City Grand Jury indicted Shawn Morris, a 19-year-old African-American man, and Michael Morris Jr., a 22-year-old African-American man, for the murder of Michael Morris Sr., a 46-year-old African-American man. Michael Morris Sr. was found shot in the head in the 4200 block of Colborne Road on May 16, 2008. The suspects were the deceased's sons.

Jerome Whitaker, a 24-year-old African-American man, pleaded guilty on Oct. 29 to the murder of Christopher Clarke and was sentenced to 25 years in prison, the first five without the possibility of parole. Brandon Green, a 23-year-old African-American man, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to Clarke's murder and was sentenced to five years in prison. Whitaker entered the 3100 block of Cliftmont Avenue from an alley on March 13, 2007, and started shooting at Antonio Santifer, an African-American male who was 19 at the time. Santifer returned fire. At some point during the shootout, Clarke, an 18-year-old African-American male who was not involved in the dispute, was struck by a bullet. He died. Illegal handgun possession charges against Santifer are still pending.

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