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Baltimore man, 21, charged in second murder in five years

HomicideTrials and ArbitrationShootingsJuvenile DelinquencyLaw EnforcementJustice System

A 21-year-old Baltimore man — convicted less than five years ago of murder — has been charged in a double shooting last week that left 19-year-old Dominic Tales dead and another man critically injured, police said.

Police said two officers were on patrol at 1 a.m. Thursday when they heard shots nearby and one of them saw Marquel Gaffney firing a handgun in the 900 block of N. Monroe St. in West Baltimore. In charging documents, police say the officer recognized Gaffney, of the 2100 block of Ashton St., from "numerous" prior contacts.

The officers gave chase, but the gunman was able to escape, police said. When they returned to the area, the officers found an unidentified man suffering from gunshot wounds to the chest, arms and legs.

Additional officers who responded to the area found a second victim, Tales, in the 1800 block of Mosher St.

Police recovered three shell casings where Tales was found and eight casings where the other victim was shot. Ballistics tests confirmed that the bullets were fired from the same gun, police wrote in court records.

Gaffney — who is grinning in the mug shot for his latest arrest — was previously arrested in 2009 for the killing of 56-year-old Albert Smith, which occurred in 2007, when Gaffney was 15. That killing occurred in the 1900 block of Harlem Ave., one block north of the location of last week's double shooting.

According to reports at the time, Gaffney was charged as an adult and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, and his case was transferred to juvenile court for sentencing.

Juvenile court records are not public. Generally, youths can remain under detention or the supervision by the Department of Juvenile Services until age 21. Gaffney turned 21 on July 3.

But court records show that he has not been in detention since Smith was killed. In April 2012, he was charged with drug-related crimes and sentenced to five years in prison, with all but 18 months suspended, after pleading guilty. In May 2013, he was charged with unauthorized removal of property, and this March pleaded guilty and received four years in prison with all but six months suspended.

Court records show Gaffney was arrested initially on charges related to the nonfatal shooting on July 31, and was being held without bond. Additional charges of murder were filed on Friday.

No attorney is listed in court records, and a lawyer who represented him on previous cases could not immediately be reached.

jfenton@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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