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Murder Ink

Posted 12/17/2008

Murders This Week: 2
Murders This Year: 223

After three bloody weeks in a row, homicides slowed down again this week. As of Dec. 15, there have been 49 fewer homicides this year than the same time last year. Despite the decrease, Baltimore continues to have a very high per-capita homicide rate compared to many other cities. So far this year Baltimore has had 35 murders per 100,000 residents. Washington D.C.'s rate is 31 per 100,000, Philadelphia's is 22. If we had Philadelphia's homicide rate there would only have been 140 murders so far this year. If we had Boston's homicide rate there would be just 64 homicides. And if we had New York City's homicide rate that number would be 38.

The man found shot to death inside a car in the 2500 block of Garrett Avenue on Dec. 5 has been identified as Michael Harris, a 37-year-old African-American.

Wednesday, Dec. 10

8:26 p.m. Brian Smith, a 37-year-old African-American man, was walking in the 3000 block of Pulaski Highway when he was shot repeatedly. He died at a local hospital half an hour later.

Thursday, Dec. 11

3:30 a.m. Police found Larry Gaither, a 44-year-old African-American man, stabbed behind a bus-stop bench in the 1000 block of Jack Place in Brooklyn. He died at a local hospital 20 minutes later. This is the fifth murder in Brooklyn this year.


Tavon Spruell, a 22-year-old African-American man from Randallstown, was arrested on July 4 for a shooting that left Edward Baylor, a 32-year-old African-American man, and Rebecca Meekins, a 16-year-old Caucasian female, dead. Spruell and Baylor allegedly got into an argument while they were both driving on North Avenue near I-83 because their two cars almost collided. Baylor stopped his car and Spruell allegedly stopped beside him, shot Baylor and Meekins repeatedly, then drove off.

On Aug. 26, Corey Frazier, a 22-year-old African-American man, was charged with the Feb. 7 murder of Emmanuel Bryant. Bryant, a 22-year-old African-American man, was shot repeatedly in the head in the 500 block of North Loudon Avenue in Southwest Baltimore. Frazier was already at Toulson Boot Camp in Jessup when he was charged.

Dennis Hite, a 15-year-old African-American male, was arrested on Sept. 23 for the murder of Derrick Reed, a 15-year-old African-American male. Reed was shot in the stomach that night on the front porch of a house in the 2500 block of Aisquith Street. Hite was arrested at the scene.

On Nov. 13, James Berry, a 21-year-old African-American man, was charged with the shooting that left Mark Henson dead. Henson, an 18-year-old African-American man, was shot in the head and face on Nov. 1 in the 1500 block of McKean Avenue.

Andre Robinson, a 25-year-old African-American man was arrested on Nov. 26 for the murder of Anthony Rainer. Rainer, a 25-year-old African-American man, was shot to death on Nov. 2.

On Dec. 8, Brandon Chambers, a 25-year-old African-American man, pleaded guilty to murdering Shanika Pretlow, a 26-year-old African-American woman. Chambers shot Pretlow four times on Oct. 18, 2005 in the 1800 block of McKean Avenue. Chambers said he shot Pretlow because he found out she was HIV positive after having unprotected sex with her. An autopsy revealed that Pretlow was not HIV positive. Chambers was caught after bragging about the murder at a nightclub.

Joy Dulan, a 26-year-old African-American woman, was arrested on Dec. 9 for the murder of Angelo Ford, a 49-year-old African-American man. Ford and a woman were shot on Nov. 23 in a home in the Sharp Leadenhall neighborhood just west of Federal Hill. The woman survived.

Michael Jackson, a 27-year-old African-American man, was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Dec. 10. Jackson was convicted of voluntary manslaughter last week for the stabbing death of Michael Griffin, a 43-year-old African-American man, which happened during an argument on Nov. 26, 2006.

On Dec. 12, Anthony White, a 24-year-old African-American man, was sentenced to 25 years in prison. White pleaded guilty in October to the May 15, 2007, murder of Deandre Salmon, a 19-year-old African-American man.

Several 2008 homicides have been closed by exception this year because the suspects in the cases were also murdered. Andre Jones, an 18-year-old African-American male, was found shot in the head in the parking lot of a convenience store in the 2900 block of Garrison Boulevard on March 15. Police believe that a 27-year-old African-American man named Tavon Smith killed Jones. Smith was shot to death on April 16. His murder case is still open.

Police believe that Donnell Williams Jr., a 19-year-old African-American man, was responsible for the June 7 shooting death of Darrien Brown, a 19-year-old African-American man. Williams was shot in the back of the head on Dec. 1. That case is still open.

Quinton Hogan, a 23-year-old African-American man, and Donnell Rogers, a 21-year-old African-American man, were shot to death in the 5500 block of Wabash Avenue on July 25. Police believe Troy Wilson and Demarco Brown Jr. were responsible for the double homicide. Wilson, a 17-year-old African-American male, was helping a friend pack her car to leave for college four days later when someone shot him repeatedly. When Wilson fell, the gunman stood over him and continued firing, killing him. Brown, a 24-year-old African-American man, was shot in the head and killed while sitting on some steps in East Baltimore on Sept. 8

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