Murders this Week: 2; Murders this Year: 98

The name of the man shot to death in the 400 block of East 21st Street on June 8 has been released. He was Vernon Williams Jr., a 19-year-old African-American man.

The death of Thomas Weddington, a 34-year-old African-American man, was removed from the homicide rolls on June 12. Weddington got into an argument on May 13 in the 2600 block of Park Heights Terrace with another man. During the fight, the man stabbed Weddington with a pocket knife. Police conferred with the State’s Attorney’s Office and determined that the man stabbed Weddington in self-defense and that no criminal charges will be sought in the case.

After several weeks with six or more homicides, the rate finally slowed this week.

Monday, June 11

12:26 p.m. Just after noon in the 2600 block of West Patapsco Street, a busy thoroughfare, Ronald Dawson II, a 28-year-old African-American man from Owings Mills, was shot numerous times throughout his body. He was taken to a city hospital, where he died an hour later.

Wednesday, June 13

10 a.m. Sharmell Thomas, a 22-year-old African-American man called 911. He told the dispatcher that Desmarie Braxton, his girlfriend’s 14-month-old daughter, had a seizure and was unresponsive. She was taken to a city hospital from her home in the 800 block of North Stricker Street. At the hospital, medics told police that they saw bruises on the baby’s body and arms. She died at 11:25 a.m. Thomas, who had been caring for the child for several days, was questioned and allegedly admitted to grabbing the baby and shaking her. He was arrested and charged with Braxton’s murder. Thomas also had an open warrant for assaulting Braxton’s mother on April 27.

Updates:

Six years were added to the sentence of Donta Matthews, a 22-year-old African-American man, on June 13. On March 12, Matthews was convicted of the murder of Darnell Gray, a 35-year-old African-American man, and sentenced to 65 years in prison. Matthews and Gray argued at a pool hall at 25th Street and Greenmount Avenue on Dec. 16, 2009. Gray left but decided to try and talk to Matthews later that day. Gray approached Matthews in a car in the 700 block of Bartlett Avenue but Matthews pulled out a gun and started firing before Gray could talk. Gray was hit in the right armpit and left knee and died. There were two other people in the car but neither was shot. Matthews was already on parole on drug charges at the time of the shooting. The murder violated that parole so Matthews must now also serve the remaining six years for the drug charge.

Correction:

Joseph Curtis, the 41-year-old man that died on May 28, 2011 and was added to the homicide rolls on Jan 3, was African-American not Caucasian as previously reported. Consequently, there have only been two Caucasian homicide victims this year, not three. We regret the error.

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