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Baltimore Crime Beat Police and court news
Baltimore killer outlines a murder during Berry trial

Looking at jurors from behind aviator glasses with his 5-foot-6 frame shackled in the witness box, Quinzell Covington outlined how to commit a murder.

He likes big guns — "the bigger the better." He prefers to work alone. Masks and gloves are a must. And, he said, make sure you finish the job.

Baltimore jurors began deliberating Tuesday in the trial of James Berry, a once-promising boxer accused of killing rival Howard Grant and his victim's relative Justin Berry in an ambush on Pennsylvania Avenue on Oct. 12, 2008. Prosecutors say Berry sought out Covington as a "murder consultant" after twice failing to kill Grant on his own.

Covington, 29, told jurors that he agreed to help James Berry get rid of Grant, with the stipulation that "if I needed someone killed, he'll help me kill whoever I need killed."

Covington, already serving a 25-year sentence for a murder in Baltimore County, pleaded guilty last month in the killings of Grant and Justin Berry and won't serve any additional jail...

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Driver killed at NSA had history of robbery, prostitution

Federal authorities on Tuesday identified the driver killed while trying to ram a stolen SUV through a security checkpoint at the National Security Agency headquarters as a Baltimore resident with a criminal history for robbery and prostitution.

The FBI named Ricky Shawatza Hall, 27, as the driver who died. According to police, Hall and another person ended up at the gates of the huge spy agency Monday morning after stealing the vehicle from a 60-year-old man with whom they had traveled to a budget motel in nearby Elkridge.

A close friend said Hall identified as transsexual and went by the name Mya. Authorities said both people in the SUV were wearing women's clothing but not in an attempt to disguise themselves.

Police opened fire on the pair after Hall failed to heed instructions to turn back from the NSA gates and rammed into a police vehicle, according to the NSA. The other person in the SUV was injured, as was an officer working the security checkpoint.

The other suspect was still...

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Police identify two men killed Monday, report third shooting

Baltimore police identified two men who were killed and announced a third shooting late Monday in Harlem Park.

Officers were called at 11:38 p.m. to the 900 block Harlem Avenue for a report of a shooting, when they found a 39-year old man with a gunshot wound to his arm and leg. He was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

Detectives from the Western District are investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call 410-396-2477.

Police on Tuesday identified two men who were killed within 20 minutes of each other earlier Monday evening.

Police said Kemmontay Mitchell, 27, of the1800 block of Warwick Ave., was shot in the head in the 2800 W. North Ave.

Less than 20 minutes later, police said Jeremy Ward, 26, of the 1700 block of Harford Ave., died after he was shot the leg in the 1800 block E. Federal Street.

Homicide detectives are investigating Mitchell and Ward's deaths, and are asking anyone with information to call 410-396-2100. No suspect or motive information was available...

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Two men charged in nonfatal shootings this month

Two men have been arrested and charged in separate nonfatal shootings in Baltimore this month, police said Monday.

Marshall Hill, 23, faces attempted murder, assault and handgun charges in a March 17 shooting in the 400 block of W. Saratoga St. near Lexington Market that left a 22-year-old man shot in the leg at about 1:42 p.m. Police said they tracked two rental cars — a gold Pontiac Grand Prix that served as the getaway car and a white Dodge Durango — to Hill, who was then identified as the shooter by two separate witnesses in a photo array. The victim was taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center for treatment.

Hill "showed no regard for life when he discharged his weapon as he was in a convenience store with plenty of customers in the store and in the vicinity of the victim when he discharged," police said in his charging documents.

Harvey Miles Jr., 21, also faces attempted murder, as well as armed robbery, assault and gun charges in a shooting and robbery Saturday...

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Two shot dead in separate city incidents

Two men were shot to death in separate incidents on Baltimore's west and east sides Monday night, police said.

A 27-year-old man died after being shot in the head at about 6:25 p.m. in the 2800 block of W. North Ave. in West Baltimore's Walbrook neighborhood, just blocks from Coppin State University, police said.

Less than 20 minutes later, officers were called to the 1800 block of E. Federal St., across from Rutland Elementary School in Broadway East, where they found a 26-year-old man shot in the leg. He was taken to a hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Homicide detectives are investigating both shootings, and anyone with information may call 410-396-2100. No suspect or motive information was available in either shooting Monday night.

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

twitter.com/cmcampbell6

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Man charged in death of toddler found in backpack in creek

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A man suspected in the death of a 1-year-old Maryland boy found inside a backpack in a central Ohio creek was charged with murder Monday after the toddler's mother agreed to cooperate with prosecutors.

Prosecutors and an attorney for the toddler's mother alleged that Kurt Flood believed the boy had demons and beat him to get rid of them.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien has said authorities believe Flood was the person who assaulted Cameron Beckford but his mother is responsible for not intervening.

The mother, Dainesha Stevens, had left Frederick, in mid-December and stayed with Flood, 24, in Columbus.

Authorities believe Beckford was injured on Dec. 25. When Stevens later found the boy unresponsive, she and Flood put his body in the bag and left it in the water nearby, prosecutors and Stevens' attorney said.

Stevens initially told police she left Cameron on a stranger's porch, she later changed her story and pointed them to the creek where they found the body...

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