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Federal Judges Denied Detention Request for Suspect in Odenton Double Murder

By Jeffrey Anderson and Van Smith | Posted 11/26/2008

Four days before Russell Kelscoe Harden allegedly committed a double murder in Odenton on Nov. 16, two federal judges denied a detention request from a federal probation officer who found that Harden was a flight risk.

On Nov. 12, U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Gauvey ruled that Harden failed to comply with conditions of a monitored release following a 2005 federal gun conviction. Gauvey ordered Harden detained for failure to appear at a mandatory probation meeting and failure to submit to a urine test. In her written order Gauvey initially noted that Harden posed a threat to the safety of others before striking that finding. The next day, U.S. District Judge Andre Davis ordered Harden confined to house arrest with electronic monitoring.

Harden instead ended up with three others in the parking lot of the North Odenton Shopping Center across from Fort Meade on Nov. 16, where he allegedly ambushed and shot four people in a parked car outside Traffic Bar and Lounge in the 1600 block of Annapolis Road, according to Anne Arundel County police. Two of the victims, Terrence J. Covington, 25, and DeMarcus T. Beans, 20, died at the scene.

Anne Arundel police arrested Harden, 26, along with Damon Daryl Dodd, 31, and James Samuel Watkins, 20, and charged them on Nov. 25 with first-degree murder. A fourth suspect, Kecia Liverpool, 31, who allegedly drove a getaway car, was charged as an accessory after the fact and held at the Anne Arundel County Detention Center on a $2 million bond. Watkins and Dodd were held without bond.

Police say the motive for the shooting involves a long running feud between Harden, whose nickname is "Yummy," and Covington.

After his arrest, Harden was turned over to federal custody. On Nov. 26, he appeared in federal court to face new charges that he violated his house arrest, was in possession of the gun that was used in the quadruple shooting, and was in the company of a convicted individual. At that hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grimm ordered Harden detained pending a hearing next week before Judge Davis.

The stretch of Annapolis Road where the shooting occurred, which is populated by strip malls, package stores, tattoo parlors, adult-video stores, bars, and restaurants, has not historically been a violent area. However, two years ago a former federal protective service officer was fatally shot as he sat in his Ford Expedition in the parking lot of the nearby My Place Bar and Lounge, according to news reports.

And in 2004, a man named Calvin Ignatius Savoy, of the Severn drug-trafficking gang known as "Pioneer Boys," shot an Anne Arundel County police officer in the arm in the 1600 block of Annapolis Road, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office press release. The officer survived, but in 2005 Savoy was sentenced to life in prison, as six others pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine.

Federal government sources that asked not to be named say Russell Harden's 2005 federal gun conviction arose from the Pioneer Boys case. According to court records, Harden has prior state convictions for guns and violence.

Police also have linked the recent Odenton shooting to a shooting that injured a man later the same day in the 800 block of Betsy Court in Annapolis. Two suspects have been arrested in that shooting, which police believe is in retaliation for the double murder that occurred outside Traffic Bar and Lounge, according to news reports.

A call to the chambers of U.S. Magistrate Gauvey on Nov. 26 was returned by her clerk, who says the judge does not recall the circumstances of her order that indicated Harden was a threat to the safety of others. The clerk confirmed that the judge's initials appear on a notation striking that finding. U.S. District Judge Davis, asked by City Paper to comment on his order of home detention for Harden, had not done so by press time. The U.S. Attorney's Office had no comment.

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