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Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 2/18/2009

Murders this Week: 5
Murders this Year: 31

Tuesday, Feb. 10

7 a.m. Someone spotted a body floating in the Patapsco River near the Hanover Street bridge and called police. Eric Pendergrass, a 26-year-old African-American man, was pulled out of the water. His death has been ruled a homicide by asphyxiation. According to a U.S. District Court criminal complaint, Pendergrass' girlfriend reported his abduction on Feb. 1 ("What's That Floating in the Water," The News Hole, CityPaper.com, Feb. 12). She told police that she received a call from Pendergrass at 1:30 a.m. that day. He told her to get a bag of money out of the closet and bring it to his mother's house, where she would hand it off to someone named "Darlene." Pendergrass was "abrupt and appeared under duress" on the phone, according to the complaint. His girlfriend followed the instructions, but Pendergrass never returned.

8:57 p.m. That night Faruq Barakaat, a 20-year-old African-American man, was sitting in front of a house in the 2100 block of Presbury Street near Matthew A. Henson Elementary School when he was shot in the head. He died at an area hospital a half hour later.

Wednesday, Feb. 11

12:07 p.m. Tracy Kinchen, a 34-year-old African-American man, and another man were in an alley behind the 1700 block of East 32nd Street. Someone approached and started shooting at them. The other man was hit, but managed to run inside a house and survived. Kinchen was shot numerous times, collapsed in the alley, and was dead by the time police arrived. This is the third murder in the Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello neighborhood this year; only Oldtown has had as many homicides in 2009.

Thursday, Feb. 12

12:22 p.m. Twenty-four hours later, Daniel Hoeck, a 62-year-old Caucasian man, was found stabbed to death in his home in the 6100 block of Glenoak Avenue. Hoeck lived in Westfield, a residential neighborhood in Northeast Baltimore.

Saturday, Feb. 14

1:43 a.m. On Valentine's Day, Michael Davis, a 30-year-old African-American man, was in Whitten's, a bar located at 4502 Erdman Ave. He became involved in a dispute and was shot in the head and died. This is the ninth murder in the Northeastern District this year, making it the most murderous police district.

Updates:

Kennard Pratt, a 27-year-old African-American man, was arrested on Feb. 5 for a triple shooting that left one person dead. Antron Betts, a 35-year-old African-American man, was with two other men in the 1000 block of North Bond Street on Jan. 7, when someone came up and shot at them. Betts died; the other two, one of whom was shot in the face, survived. Pratt is being charged with murder and attempted murder.

On Feb. 11, a Baltimore City Grand Jury indicted Leroy Taylor, a 19-year-old African-American man, for the March 11, 2008, murder of Tavon Burks, a 16-year-old African-American male. Burks and a 19-year-old were in a parking lot in the 2500 block of North Edgecombe Circle when they were shot. The 19-year-old survived.

Maurice Crosby, a 20-year-old African-American man, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for stabbing Michael Simms, an 18-year-old African-American Marine Reservist, to death. Crosby and a couple of other people got into a fight with some of Simms' friends, on June 10, 2007. Simms tried to help his friends, and was stabbed by Crosby. Crosby was found not guilty of first-degree murder, but was convicted of involuntary manslaughter on Nov. 1, 2008.

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