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Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 5/27/2009

Murders this Week: 2
Murders this Year: 83

Due to the Memorial Day holiday, this week's Murder Ink only covers homicides from May 18-22.

Two deaths stemming from shootings that happened years ago were added to the homicide total this week.

On April 12, 2005, Tavon Crawford, a 22-year-old African-American man, was shot in the neck in the 2700 block of St. Lo Drive near Clifton Park. Another person was also shot during the incident but survived. Crawford became a paraplegic from the chest down as a result of the shooting. He cut his heel on Jan. 1, 2009, when he was getting out of bed and into his wheelchair. He was brought to Harford Memorial Hospital and ended up in the ICU. On Jan. 23, he went into cardiac arrest and had to be put on life support. He died four days later.

Chavis Barber, an African-American man who was 18 when he shot Crawford, pleaded guilty in 2007 to two counts of attempted second-degree murder and handgun violations and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Lee Johnson, a 19-year-old African-American male, was found shot in the back of the head in the 1900 block of Frederick Avenue in Southwest Baltimore on Sept. 27, 2008. He was rushed to surgery at a local hospital, but had to be kept alive on life support. His mother initially refused to remove him from life support despite the fact that he was brain dead. He died on May 18 of this year.


On May 2, police arrested Sherman Anderson, a 32-year-old African-American man. Anderson has been charged with the murder of Qonta Waddell, a 24-year-old African-American man, as well as kidnapping and false imprisonment. Waddell was taken from his mother's house at gunpoint on April 21 and was subsequently shot in the head and killed.

William Briscoe, a 26-year-old African-American man, was arrested on May 5 for the murder of Dewayne Booker, a 20-year-old African-American man. Booker was shot in the head and body in the 1200 block of Bonaparte Avenue on April 1.

Two arrests have been made in the April 27 murder of Shawn Williams, an 18-year-old African-American man. Williams was found shot in the head in a vacant lot in Carrollton Ridge. Derrick Johnson, a 20-year-old African-American man, was arrested on May 15. A couple of days later, Baltimore police arrested Xavian Chriscoe, a 31-year-old African-American man, in Inglewood, Calif.

A Baltimore City Grand Jury indicted Olushola Aleem, a 21-year-old African-American man, on May 19 for the murder of Linwood Colvin, a 28-year-old African-American man. According to the State's Attorney's Office, Aleem went to a party that Colvin was attending on Jan. 1, 2008. Aleem, who was wearing a security uniform, allegedly pulled out a gun and told everyone to get on the floor. He then started robbing the partygoers. When he demanded Colvin's gold chain, Colvin refused. Aleem allegedly shot him in the chest, killing him.

Also on May 19, a grand jury indicted Vincent Cala, a 48-year-old Caucasian man, for the murder of Frank Swiston, a 53-year-old Caucasian man. Cala is being accused of beating Swiston to death on April 25. According to police, both Swiston and Cala lived at the location where Swiston was found suffering from bleeding on the brain.

Hector Posada, a 35-year-old Hispanic man, was arrested on May 19 for the murder of Lucio Solorzano. The 84-year-old Hispanic man was found beaten to death on May 17 in a wooded area along Reisterstown Road. Arrests have been made in 35 of this year's 83 homicides.

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