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Murder Ink

Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 1/28/2009

Murders this Week: 1
Murders this Year: 17

There was another police-involved shooting this week. On Jan. 25 at 2:52 a.m. police responded to a domestic-violence call in the 200 block of North Luzerne Avenue in East Baltimore. According to police, Brendan Singleton, a 19-year-old African-American man, climbed into a window of his ex-girlfriend's house. Once inside he started stabbing her. Family members tried to stop the attack, but failed. When police arrived an officer tried to Taser Singleton, but it didn't work. Two officers then opened fire on Singleton, shooting him. He died at a local hospital half an hour later. His ex-girlfriend survived her injuries. This is the third police-involved shooting in the first month of 2009 and the second one that has been fatal.

Despite seven days in a row with out a homicide, there have still have been five more homicides as of Jan. 25 than at the same time last year.

Sunday, Jan. 25

1:46 a.m. Juan Johnson, a 14-year-old African-American male, was shot in the head in the street in the 4400 block of Pall Mall Road in Northwest Baltimore. He died at a nearby hospital 10 minutes later. Johnson is the fifth person under the age of 18 murdered so far this year.


The Baltimore City Grand Jury indicted two people on Jan. 20 for the murder of Paris Richardson, a 21-year-old African-American man. Richardson went into a carry-out in the 2500 block of East Hoffman Street on May 5, 2008, to get some food. According to the State's Attorney's office, two African-American men--18-year-old Darius Duppins and 17-year-old Damien Davis--entered the carry-out after Richardson and shot him several times, killing him.

Jason Allen, a 25-year-old African-American man, was convicted on Jan. 20 of the murder of Jeff Payne, a 22-year-old African-American man from Virginia Beach. Payne was at a going-away party for a Morgan State University student on Feb. 15, 2008, at an apartment complex near the school. Payne, who argued with Allen earlier, brought a sawed-off shotgun to the party and shot Payne, killing him. Powerful Aguilar, a 24-year-old African-American man, pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact in November.

On Jan. 22,Trendon Washington, a 21-year-old African-American man, was convicted of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder for his part in the death of Ricardo Paige, a 54-year-old African-American man. The jury, which deliberated for two days, was hung on first-degree murder and handgun charges. The state can retry Washington on those charges. Paige was shot repeatedly on Mar. 20, 2007, including once in his mouth. Washington thought that Paige called the police on him, causing the police to raid his stash house. The cases against Washington's co-defendants, Jamal Fulton, a 22-year-old African-American man, and Kevin Armstead, a 26-year-old African-American man, are still ongoing.

Also on Jan. 22, Brandon Wall, a 22-year-old African-American man, was sentenced to life in prison, though all but 35 years of the sentence was suspended. Wall pleaded guilty in November to the murder of Perry Brooks, a 49-year-old African-American man. On May 25, 2007, Brooks, a correctional officer, was parking his car behind the 1900 block of Hillenwood Road when Wall came up and tried to rob Brooks but ended up shooting and killing him.

Vernice Harris, a 31-year-old African-American woman, was found guilty of violating her probation on Jan. 23. In April, Harris pleaded guilty to manslaughter for the death of her 2-year-old daughter, Bryanna Harris. The child died from blunt force trauma and a lethal dose of methadone. Harris was sentenced to 10 years in prison in August, but the sentenced was suspended and she was ordered instead to drug and alcohol treatment. Harris failed to comply with her treatment program and will now have to serve the rest of her sentence.

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