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City police make arrests in several homicides

ShootingsDrug TraffickingHomicideAnthony BattsJones Falls Expressway

As officers lingered outside his Northwest Baltimore home for three hours, Anthony Todd was busy inside trying to cover up evidence of a marijuana-growing operation, police say.

His pants had fresh dirt on them from squeezing through a crawl space to hide what police say was a pound of loose marijuana, and he told officers he had spent the time before they entered the home tearing apart the marijuana plants and flushing them down the toilet. Detectives also found two .22-caliber revolvers, one behind a TV and another in a drawer underneath, police said in court records.

It was a homicide, however, not a drug investigation that had taken officers to the home in the 4500 block of Pimlico Road. Within days of the raid March 4, Todd was charged with first-degree murder in the March 2 killing of Kevin Gipson.

Gipson spoke to The Baltimore Sun the day before his death, advocating for friends fighting to stay at a homeless camp under the Jones Falls Expressway where Gipson had lived in a tent before moving to a Park Heights medical facility. He was shot to death in the 1100 block of Barclay St. about 5 a.m. the next day.

Charging documents in the case do not provide a motive in the killing. A public defender assigned to Todd in the drug case could not be reached for comment, and no one answered the phone at a number listed for Todd's address.

The arrest is one of several that homicide detectives have made in recent weeks. None of the charging documents for the recently closed cases contain a motive, and police could not provide any additional information.

Among the cases recently closed include the killing of 16-year-old Daniel Pearson, who was one of three people shot in November 2012 in the 2700 block of Greenmount Ave., a case that Police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said was among several connected to a gang war.

Charging documents in the arrest of 21-year-old Terry Addison say that four men emerged from an alley, walked into the street and opened fire on Pearson and his group. Addison's address in court records is a Catonsville senior care facility.

Police said they have also charged William Hunt, 29, with the April 2008 homicide of Justin Marasa, a 22-year-old from Kenya who was found slumped over the wheel of a vehicle in the 1400 block of Holbrook St.

Garrick Powell Jr., 20, of Gwynn Oak was charged with the killing of 21-year-old John Planters, who was found in a grassy lot in the 2200 block of Annapolis Road on Oct. 25, 2012. In late February, Powell was indicted along with another man on two counts of attempted first-degree murder in a shooting that occurred in the 1300 block of Broadway in January. He was already awaiting trial on two different drug distribution cases, records show.

Attempts to reach the suspects' attorneys were unsuccessful.

jfenton@baltsun.com

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