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Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 3/11/2009

Murders this Week: 4
Murders this Year: 42

According to police, the Jan. 11 killing of Shawn Green, a 17-year-old African-American male, was ruled justified by the State's Attorney's Office and removed from the homicide tally. However, the State's Attorney's Office says it has not made a ruling on this case yet. As a result, there is a discrepancy between the number of 2009 homicides recorded by this column and the number counted by the Baltimore Police Department.

The death of Roger Dennis has been added to the homicide rolls. Dennis was shot more than a decade ago. On May 24, 1997, Dennis, an African-American who was 13 years old at the time, was standing in the 1900 block of West North Avenue when a young man rode up on a bicycle, pulled out a gun, and shot the child twice--once in the chest and once in the spine. Dennis died 11 years later on Aug. 1, 2008. He was 25. His death was ruled a result of the 1997 shooting. As of press time, police could not explain why it took nine months for his death to be counted as a homicide.

There was also a police-involved shooting this week. On March 6, two officers from the Violent Crimes Impact Division were in the 2800 block of West Garrison Avenue near Pimlico Racecourse working on a narcotics investigation. During the investigation, Shawn Cannady, a 30-year-old African-American man, and another man allegedly got into a car and tried to run one of the officers down. The other officer fired his weapon, hitting Cannady in the head. Cannady died at a local hospital on March 8 at 9:20 p.m. The other man was questioned by police, but was not charged with a crime. Police found narcotics in the car. Police would not release the name of the officer who shot Cannady, but did reveal that he had been on the force for less than four years and had been involved in two previous shootings, both of which were ruled justified by police. Cannady is the fourth person fatally shot by the police in just over two months.

The name of the man shot to death in the parking lot in front of Greenspring Overlook Apartments on Feb. 22 has been released. He was Raymond Williams, 21-year-old African-American man from Randallstown.

Friday, March 6

9:39 p.m. Herbert Carsten Jr., a 17-year-old Caucasian male from Essex, was standing with a 15-year-old Caucasian male in the 100 block of South Eaton Street, just north of Highlandtown. Someone approached and started shooting at them. The 15-year-old was shot and taken to an area hospital in serious condition. Carsten was shot in the head and died at the hospital less than a hour later. Carsten is the seventh person under 18 murdered this year.

Saturday, March 7

1:56 a.m. A group of women, including Sctario Tia Edwards, a 25-year-old African-American, and her friend, a 26-year-old African-American woman, were dancing at Coconuts Café, a lesbian bar at 311 W. Madison St. in Mount Vernon. They bumped into another woman on the dance floor and an argument erupted. The other woman left the club. At closing time, people started filing out of the club. Edwards and her friend walked to their car, and her friend got inside. Before Edwards could join her, a dark-colored SUV pulled into the block and the woman they had argued with earlier reportedly got out. The woman had a metal pipe and started beating Edwards with it, then went back to the car and got a gun. She shot Edwards, then turned to the friend in the car and shot her. She again shot at Edwards, who tried to run, but collapsed. The woman stood over Edwards after she fell and continued firing. During the shooting, a 27-year-old African-American woman, who was not involved in the dispute, was also shot. Edwards was dead by the time help arrived. The other two women survived.

Sunday, March 8

9:20 p.m. Police found Wayne Robinson, a 22-year-old African-American man, lying on the sidewalk in the 3400 block of East Baltimore Street. He had been shot repeatedly and died at an area hospital 25 minutes later. This is the second murder in the Baltimore Highlands neighborhood this week and the third this year.


Lewis Brock, a 27-year-old African-American man, has been charged with the March 1 stabbing at Kolper's in the 1500 block of Clipper Road just outside of Hampden. Nelson Gause, a 29-year-old African-American man, was at a party at the bar when he was stabbed in the chest. Another man ran after the assailant and was also stabbed, but survived. Brock was taken into police custody that night.

On March 2, a Baltimore City Grand Jury indicted Lamont Harrell, a 24-year-old African-American man, for the murder of Anthony Brown, a 20-year-old African-American man. Brown was shot on March 4, 2007, while sitting in a car in the 700 block of North Curley Street. According to police, Harrell's DNA was found at the scene. Harrell is already serving two life sentences for the murders of Allen Coates, a 36-year-old African-American man, and Andre Jones, a 28-year-old African-American man. All three murders took place within two months.

Eddy Castillo-Diaz, a 21-year-old Hispanic man, was arrested on March 3 for the murder of Jose Escobar Peña, a 26-year-old Hispanic man. Peña was stabbed to death in the 3500 block of Eastern Avenue in Highlandtown on Feb. 22.

On March 4, Troy Dukes, a 39-year-old African-American man, was convicted of the murder of Edward Jeter, a 28-year-old African-American man. Jeter was shot in the head on March 31, 2006. Dukes was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Donnell Johnson, a 35-year-old African-American man, was convicted on March 6 of murdering Byron Dickey, a 28-year-old African-American man. Dickey got into an argument with Johnson in the 2100 block of Barclay Street. Johnson pulled out a gun and Dickey ran. Johnson chased Dickey for several blocks shooting at him and striking him three times.

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