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Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 11/18/2009

Murders this Week: 9
Murders this Year: 200

Monday, Nov. 9

3:20 p.m. Kenneth Ray Jones, a 46-year-old African-American man, died at a local hospital. The day before, at 2:47 p.m., Jones and a friend were in the 3000 block of Towanda Avenue just north of Mondawmin Mall. They were there to meet another friend. A burgundy van drove up and blew its horn. Jones got into the van and talked to the driver. Then, people outside heard a pop and Jones was pushed out of the van, which then drove away. He had been shot in the head.

Tuesday, Nov. 10

3:20 a.m. Police were called to a house in the 2400 block of Llewelyn Avenue in Broadway East for a theft. Police took a report and then left. About two hours later, they were called back to the house. A bloody box cutter had been found in a bedroom, and the resident's nephew was missing. Police returned and found the body of Jason Mattison Jr., a 15-year-old African-American male, stuffed in the closet of the bedroom. Several blankets had been thrown over him. Mattison had been gagged, sexually assaulted, and stabbed numerous times in the head and neck. Donte Parrish, a 35-year-old African-American man, was arrested on Nov. 12. Parrish, who knew the family, spent 10 years in prison for murder, but was released in January. Mattison is the 12th person under 18 murdered this year.

Thursday, Nov. 12

8:14 p.m. Michael McFadden, a 51-year-old African-American man, was shot repeatedly in the 2000 block of West Lanvale Street. He died at an area hospital less than an hour later. This is the fifth murder in Midtown-Edmondson this year.

9:04 p.m. Marvin Hawkins III, a 38-year-old African-American man, was discovered shot several times in a burgundy vehicle in the 3600 block of Gelston Drive in Edmondson Village. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital at 9:50 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 13

9:41 p.m.An as-yet-unidentified man was discovered in an alley the 5100 block of Arbutus Avenue near Langston Hughes Elementary School. He had been shot and was dead.

Saturday, Nov. 14

12:47 a.m.Three hours later, a police officer in the 1200 block of West North Avenue heard gunshots. The officer followed the sound to the 2400 block of Druid Hill Avenue and found Sammie Lee McCullough, a 36-year-old African-American man, sitting in the driver’s seat of a car. McCullough had been shot repeatedly in his left side and died at a local hospital at 1:30 a.m.

2:14 p.m. That afternoon, Anthony Swann, a 45-year-old African-American man, and his mother, a 63-year-old African-American woman, went grocery shopping. They returned to their home in the 800 block of Lemon Street in the Hollins Market neighborhood and started putting their groceries away. Five minutes later, a man in a black ski mask entered through the door, which had been left ajar. The intruder shot Swann numerous times. After Swann collapsed, the intruder shot Swann’s mother and then ran off. Both Swann and his mother were taken to an area hospital. Swann died that day. His mother survived.

Sunday, Nov. 15.

3:15 a.m. Police were called to Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital. Josue Zelaya, an 18-year-old Hispanic man, had come in with a gunshot wound to his side. Police interviewed his friends, who were at the hospital and got several different stories. They were able to trace the shooting back to a house in the 400 block of North Glover Street in East Baltimore. Roque Ramirez, a 19-year-old Hispanic man and a friend of Zelaya, lived there. According to police, Ramirez confessed to accidentally shooting his friend when the gun he was holding suddenly discharged. Zelaya died at 4:15 a.m. Ramirez was arrested and charged with manslaughter and handgun violations.

6:05 p.m. An unidentified man was found dead in a vacant apartment building in the 2900 block of Garrison Boulevard in Northwest Baltimore. The man showed signs of head trauma. He was the 200th person murdered this year; 193 people had been murdered on the same date last year.


James Spriggs, a 28-year-old African-American man, was indicted by a Baltimore City Grand jury for murder on Nov. 9. He is being charged with shooting Brian Goodwin, a 21-year-old African-American man, to death in the 500 block of Bloom Street on June 19, 2008. According to the State's Attorney's Office, the two men were fighting over drug territory.

On Nov. 10, police arrested Ravanna Cornish, a 27-year-old African-American man, for the murder of Johnnie Hawkins, a 40-year-old African-American man. Hawkins was shot at a car wash in the 100 block of South Payson Street on Nov. 8.

Edward Thornton, a 55-year-old African-American man, was convicted of second-degree murder on Nov. 10. Thornton, who was homeless, stabbed Helen Reightler, a 43-year-old Caucasian woman, in the neck on Sept. 18, 2008. They were fighting over a piece of cardboard that Thornton slept on. Reightler died 11 days later.

On Nov. 12, Timothy Oxendine, a 15-year-old African-American male, pleaded guilty to murder. Oxendine, who was 14 when the murder occurred, and Markel Williams, a 15-year-old African-American male, both attended William H. Lemmel Middle School in the 2800 block of North Dukeland Street. The two boys had been fighting for some time. It had gotten so bad that Oxendine had stopped coming to school. But on Nov. 21, 2008, he came to school with a knife, sought out Williams, and stabbed him. According to the plea agreement, Oxendine will be sentenced to between 15 and 25 years in prison, more years than he had been alive at the time of the murder.

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