Man killed Monday near Pimlico was charged in teen's nearby killing the day after Preakness last year

The man killed Monday just blocks from Pimlico Race Course was charged in the nearby killing of a teenage boy on the day after the Preakness last year.

Police said Brandon Lucas, 26, of the 600 block of Bonner Road was shot in the torso about 10:40 p.m. in the 3000 block of Spaulding Ave. in Central Park Heights. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Almost one year ago, Lucas was arrested and charged with first- and second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Cortez Brown, 17, on May 22, the day after last year's Preakness.

Brown was shot several times shortly before 11 p.m. in the 3500 block of Hayward Ave. in the Arlington neighborhood, blocks away from the race course and from the location of Lucas' shooting Monday.

According to online court documents, prosecutors dropped the charges against Lucas within months, and he was released.

Melba Saunders, a spokeswoman for Baltimore State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby, said in a statement that the case against Lucas was dismissed by prosecutors "due to insufficient evidence that definitively identified him as the perpetrator of the offense." She declined to say how the evidence had changed from the time he was charged.

Saunders said now that Lucas has been killed, prosecutors "will pursue justice on his behalf the same we do for all victims of crime in Baltimore City."

Lucas was represented during a preliminary hearing in the 2016 case by then-Assistant Public Defender Kirsten Downs, who was just named head of Baltimore's public defender's office.

Downs declined through a spokeswoman to comment, citing her office's "general policy not to discuss former clients with the media without their express permission."

T.J. Smith, a police spokesman, said Brown's death was "closed by arrest" after Lucas was arrested last year, and remains in that status with his death.

The Arlington and Central Park Heights neighborhoods border each other and surround the racecourse on its southern and western sides.

Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton contributed to this article.

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