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Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 1/21/2009

Murders this Week: 2
Murders this Year: 16

The name of the man who was shot in the head in an apartment building on Dickey Hill Road on Jan. 8 has been released. He was Kipton Degree, a 23-year-old African-American.

One homicide was accidentally left out of last week's column. On Sunday, Jan. 11, at 7:37 p.m., Shawn Green, a 17-year-old African-American male, was found stabbed in the chest at a bus stop in the 3200 block of the Alameda near Baltimore City College. He died at a local hospital at 10:29 p.m. Including Green's death, there were seven murders last week. Green was the fourth teenager murdered in the first 11 days of this year.

In a column from last month, we also incorrectly spelled the name of a man shot and killed at an apartment house on the 700 block of North Howard Street on Dec. 6. The man's name was Travis Makofski. We regret the error.

The first fatal police-involved shooting of 2009 occurred this week. On Jan. 14 at 9:25 p.m., police were called to the 2700 block of Greenmount Avenue, and when they arrived they saw a man with a duffel bag over his shoulder. The man ran when he saw the officers, who chased him through a series of alleys. They ended up in the 2700 block of Mathews Street behind Greenmount Avenue. According to police, the man then took a rifle out of the duffel bag, turned, and raised his weapon. A detective with the Northern District Gang Unit fired at the man, striking him in the stomach and elbow. The man, who has been identified as 22-year-old African-American Larry Reed, died that morning at a local hospital. Police have declined to give the officer's name.

Wednesday, Jan. 14

8:02 p.m. Ronald Crosby, a 56-year-old African-American man, was shot repeatedly near his home in the 5400 block of Jamestown Court in Westgate near the Western city limit. He died at 7:15 a.m. on Jan. 15.

Saturday, Jan. 17

12:20 a.m. Police discovered a black Infiniti SUV parked in the 1200 block of Bayard Street in Pigtown. The driver's side window was shattered. Inside, they found Jaiwan Jones, a 26-year-old African-American man, in the driver's seat slumped over the center console. He had been shot repeatedly in the left side and was dead.


On Dec. 31, Brandon Grimes, a 23-year-old African-American man, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus an additional 18 years, for the murder of Baltimore Police Detective Troy Chesley Sr. Grimes shot Chesley to death when he was coming home from work on Jan. 9, 2007. The judge referred to Chesley's murder as "brazen, cowardly, cruel, and unjustified" and said it "calls out for punishment."

Two more people were indicted for the murders of Edward Baylor and Rebecca Meekins. John Jenkins and Donavan Lawrence, 28 and 27-year-old African-American men, respectively, were indicted by the Baltimore City Grand Jury on Jan. 9. Tavon Spruell, a 22-year-old African-American man, was indicted for the murder last summer. On Feb. 27, 2008, Baylor, a 32-year-old African-American man, almost got into a car accident with a Jetta near the Maryland Institute College of Art. Spruell, Jenkins, and Lawrence were allegedly riding in that car. Baylor argued with the party in the Jetta and then pulled over in the 1500 block of West Mount Royal Avenue, at which point someone in the Jetta opened fire, killing Baylor, and Meekins, a 16-year-old Caucasian girl who was sitting in the passenger seat. Shawn Dickey, a 22-year-old African-American man, was convicted of murder, assault, and weapons charges on Jan. 15. Dickey shot Alexander Rose, a 23-year-old African-American man, and another man near Patterson Park on May 22, 2007. Rose died; the other man survived.

On Jan. 16, five people were indicted by the Baltimore City Grand Jury for the murder of a 14-year-old African-American male named Steven Graham. Joseph Richardson, a 53-year-old African-American man, was arrested on Dec. 23. Lawrence Lewis, a 46-year-old African-American man, Patricia Trusty, a 53-year-old African-American woman, and Virgil Hitchen, a 43-year-old African-American man, were arrested at their homes on Christmas Eve. Michael Hitchen, a 35-year-old African-American man, was arrested on Jan. 2. According to police, the defendants were at a drug house on Nov. 18, 2008. The house was robbed, and the defendants fled the house. They saw Graham who they recognized from the neighborhood and believed was friends with the people who robbed the drug house. The group allegedly then got in a car, drove up to Graham, who was riding a bike in the 400 block of Maude Avenue in Brooklyn, and shot him to death.

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