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Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 8/5/2009

Murders this Week: 6
Murders this Year: 136

Friday, July 31

12:35 a.m. Police found Lamont Woodard, a 39-year-old African-American man, lying on the ground in the 500 block of East Lynn Avenue in Southwest Baltimore. A crowd had gathered around Woodard, who had been shot in the head. He died at an area hospital a half hour later.

Saturday, Aug. 1

1:35 a.m. David Reese, an 18-year-old African-American man, got into an argument with another man in the 300 block of North Paca Street near Lexington Market. The man stabbed Reese in the chest and then fled. The fight was caught on CitiWatch cameras. CitiWatch command provided a description of the suspect. Oscar Skinner III, an 18-year-old African-American male, was arrested shortly after the stabbing a few blocks from the scene. Reese died at a local hospital at 2:28 a.m.

2:05 a.m. A half hour later, police arrived at a home in the 1900 block of West Lafayette Avenue in Midtown-Edmondson. A woman there was too upset to give the police any information, but inside the home they found Stanley Joines, a 26-year-old African-American man who lived there. His body was partially decomposed. His family had not seen him for a couple of days, so a friend went to his home and found Joines' body. His death was ruled a homicide by shooting by the Medical Examiner's Office.

4:05 p.m. That afternoon, also in Midtown-Edmondson, Steven Eldridge, a 25-year-old African-American man, drove to Scott's Tire in the 2100 block of Edmondson Avenue. He parked his car and went to the door of the business. As he was waiting to be served, a man came up, pulled out a gun, and shot him in the head. Eldridge died at an area hospital the next day at 1:47 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 2

4:17 a.m. A police officer was patrolling the area around Edgecombe Park when he saw a car on the side of the road with its motor running. The car was empty. The officer called in to see if the car had been reported missing, but it had not, so he requested a tow truck. When the tow truck arrived, the officer pulled his car past the empty one and his headlights caught something lying next to chain-link fence nearby. It was the body of Marcella Lawson, a 64-year-old African-American woman and the owner of the empty car. She had a gunshot wound to the head and was dead. Lawson is the 13th female murdered this year.

1 p.m. Police were called to the scene of a double shooting in the 800 block of Allendale Street in Edmondson Village. A 47-year-old African-American man was located on the steps of a rowhouse in the block. He had been shot in the legs, but was conscious. The other victim, Cortez Smith, an 18-year-old African-American male, had been shot in the body and died at a local hospital less than an hour later. Eighty-six of this year's homicide victims have been under the age of 30.


The man shot to death in Greektown on July 25 has been identified as Marcus Sanchez, a 27-year-old Hispanic man. On July 31, police arrested Michael Akonom, a 30-year-old Caucasian male, for Sanchez's murder.

Steven Romingo, a 41-year-old African-American man, pleaded guilty on July 27 to murdering his girlfriend Shirley Johnson, a 44-year-old African-American woman. Romingo stabbed Johnson 14 times with a foot-long butcher knife in front of her family on Sept. 6, 2008. He has been sentenced to 27 years in prison.

On July 28, Tarae Jones, a 31-year-old African-American man, was indicted by a Baltimore City Grand Jury for the murder of Darnell Johns, 21-year-old African-American man. According to the Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office, Jones walked up behind Johns on June 10 and shot him. Jones then allegedly stood over Johns and continued firing. A man who was walking with his girlfriend and children in the vicinity was shot in the hand by a stray bullet, but survived.

Tavon Henson, a 19-year-old African-American man, pleaded guilty on July 29 to the murder of Darius Bunch, a 31-year-old African-American man. Henson's co-defendant, Kevin Randolph, a 19-year-old African-American man, pleaded guilty to attempted murder. Bunch was shot repeatedly in the head and body on a playground near Gwynns Falls Park on April 1, 2008. Under the plea agreement, Henson will be sentenced to 25 years in prison and Randolph will be sentenced to 20 years.

Brandon Brown, a 19-year-old African-American man, was arrested on July 31 for the murder of 16-year-old African-American male Jerrod Reed. Reed and another 16-year-old were shot on July 19 in the 2800 block of East Madison Street. The other boy survived.

On Aug. 1, Danny Battle, a 21-year-old African-American man was convicted of the murder of Irvin Lawson, a 32-year-old African-American man. Lawson was shot in the head in January, 2008. During the trial, Gernard Smith and Rodney Addison were charged with witness intimidation. According to the State's Attorney's Office, the two men are accused of following a witness home.

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