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Baltimore Crime Beat

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Man, 20, charged in fatal beating of 42-year-old man in Northwest Baltimore

City police have charged a 20-year-old man in the fatal beating of a 42-year-old man in a Northwest Baltimore gas station parking lot, officials said. 

Police were called to the 3300 block of Garrison Blvd., in the Forest Park neighborhood, at about 8:45 p.m on Aug. 5 for a report of an intoxicated man being beaten by a young male with a "stick of nails," police said. When officers arrived, at the BP gas station, a crowd of people directed officers to the victim, who was unresponsive and taken to Sinai Hospital. 

According to charging documents, Victor Asbell got into an argument with a group of males when one of them punched him in the head, causing him to fall and hit his head on the pavement. Police said the attacker grabbed a "wooden board with nails protruding from it and began to strike the victim multiple times with it."

Asbell died from his injuries at about 5 a.m. on Sunday, police said. Later that day, police charged 20-year-old Keonta Johnson with a warrant charging him with attempted first-degree murder and assault, charges that were expected to be upgraded following Asbell's death, officials said. 

Johnson, who lived in a nearby group home according to court records, was identified by witnesses through photo lineups is being held without bond. 

Johnson is on probation stemming from a December 2010 guilty plea on charges of second-degree assault, and has two minor drug cases pending in Baltimore Circuit Court. 

This year, 128 people have been killed in Baltimore, compared with 129 at this time last year. 

jfenton@baltsun.com

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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