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Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 12/22/2004

Murders week of Dec. 13: 2
Murders this year: 272

With just two murders this week, Baltimore crept past last year’s total number of homicides. Last year there were 271 murders in the city. This year, with 12 days of 2004 left to go, there have been 272. The number would have been 273, but the Dec. 3 death of Ferdinand Byas has been ruled a justifiable homicide. According to police, Byas was trying to break into his girlfriend’s house through a second-floor window but was confronted by her husband and fell from the window.

Wednesday, Dec. 15

7:35 p.m. Two men were found lying in the street at the intersection of Chase and Durham streets in the Middle East neighborhood. One of the men was shot in the thigh, but survived. Jason Willis, a 22-year-old African-American man, was shot in the chest and was pronounced dead an hour later at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Willis and his companion had been standing at the intersection when two men came up to them, robbed the survivor of $50, and then opened fire. Willis had been arrested several times on drug charges. He was killed about a block from his home, and became the eighth person to be murdered in East Baltimore’s Middle East neighborhood this year.

Saturday, Dec. 18

11 p.m. Miguel Beasley, a 30-year-old African-American man who lived in Pleasant View Gardens, was found shot to death in the 2700 block of the Alameda near Harford Road. He had been shot repeatedly. Beasley had an arrest record in Baltimore City that included gambling and drug possession.

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