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Murder Ink

By Anna Ditkoff | Posted 1/9/2008

Murders Dec. 24-30: 4
Murders This Week: 2
Murders This Year: 2

Due to last week's early deadline, this column covers homicides from Dec. 28 to Jan. 6.

A total of 282 homicides made 2007 the most murderous year in Baltimore since the 1990s, a decade in which there were more than 300 murders per year in the city. 2008 has had an auspicious beginning, with just two homicides so far compared to seven at this time last year. That's the fewest murders Baltimore has started out with since this column began in 2004.

Friday, Dec. 28

12:38 a.m. Todd Dargan, a 25-year-old African-American man, was shot in the head in the 900 block of N. Caroline Street in East Baltimore. He died at Johns Hopkins Hospital at 1:06 p.m. that day. On Dec. 29, police arrested Rodney Johnson, a 27-year-old African-American man, and Ronald Cox, a 41-year-old African-American man, for Dargan's murder.

Tuesday, Jan.1

12:02 a.m. A man entered a party in the 800 block of Bethune Road in Cherry Hill with a gun. He told everyone to get down on the floor and demanded their money. Linwood Colvin, a 28-year-old African-American man, refused and was shot repeatedly in the chest. Colvin died at Maryland Shock Trauma Center less than an hour later.

Friday, Jan. 4

11:30 p.m. People living in the 2800 block of Kentucky Avenue in Belair-Edison heard gunfire and looked outside to see a man lying on the sidewalk across the street from a church. Jerome Waters, a 32-year-old African-American man, had been shot several times and died at Hopkins Hospital at midnight.

Updates

On Dec. 21 an arrest was made in the June 5 murder of Bryanna Harris, a 2-year-old African-American girl, and the youngest homicide victim of 2007. The child's mother, 30-year-old African-American Vernice Harris, has been charged with the crime. Bryanna Harris had been beaten and had methadone in her system when she died.

The murder case of Monea Gorham, a 24-year-old African-American woman, was closed by exception. Gorham was shot in the neck in 1999 and left a quadriplegic; she was 16 at the time. She died eight years later, on Sept. 20, 2007. Eric Fleming, a 26-year-old African-American, pleaded guilty to attempted murder in 2000 and was sentenced to 50 years in prison for the charge. According to police, he can't be retried. Fleming was 17 when the shooting took place.

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