Harford youths jailed on weapons charges, suspected of gang association

Four youths who were stopped by Harford County sheriff's deputies a short distance from where the front door of an Edgewood apartment was shot up last week are suspected of being associated with a gang, according to a Sheriff's Office spokeswoman.

Cristie Kahler of the Harford County Sheriff's Office wrote in an e-mail Tuesday that Antshonn Stephen Martin, 17, of Edgewood, Kyle Ahmad Williams-Venable, 20, of Lutherville, and two others have not been directly tied to the June 11 shooting in the 800 block of Windstream Way, and the shooting is still under investigation.

The four youths were stopped by deputies who were searching the neighborhood in the aftermath of the shooting, according to a report filed by DFC Steve Minton.

Deputies had received a report around 10:30 p.m. last Wednesday for shots fired in the 800 block of Windstream Way in Edgewood, where residents said a gun was fired at the apartment door. Minton saw several bullet holes in the front door; the residents were unharmed, according to his report.

The residents described the person who did the shooting as a black man wearing a dar hooded sweatshirt and jeans.

The shooting is being investigated separately from the vehicle stop, according to Kahler.

"While this incident contains gang involvement, meaning the people involved are associated with gangs, whether or not the shooting was gang motivated has yet to be determined," Kahler explained in her e-mail Tuesday.

She did not state what led investigators to determine the four youths are associated with a gang, but said investigators "in general" consider criteria such as "self-admission, gang related tattoos, group photos of gangs and gang members, possession of gang symbols and observation with other known gang members."

Williams-Venable was driving a silver Toyota that appeared "suspicious" to deputies because it was spotted parked on Clover Valley Court, "behind and adjacent" to Windstream, with its lights off, according to Minton's report.

The vehicle began moving, and deputies pulled over the driver a short time later at the intersection of Swallow Crest and Brookside drives.

The quartet got out; deputies searched the vehicle and found a black and silver handgun, a Cobra .380, on the front seat "within reach, lunge and grasp of both Mr. Martin and Mr. Williams-Venable," according to Minton's report.

Antshonn was sitting in the front passenger seat; Antwan and Hall were in the rear seat.

Antshonn and Williams-Venable have since both been charged with possession of a handgun as a minor under age 21, having a handgun in a vehicle and having a handgun on or near their person, according to charging documents.

Both were initially held in the county jail on $5,000 bail, according to court records.

Williams-Venable appeared in Harford County District Court Friday. Judge Victor Butanis raised his bail to $50,000; Kahler said Tuesday he is still in jail.

Antshonn appeared before District Court Judge David Carey for a bail review Monday afternoon via closed-circuit television from the county detention center; he was represented by Laura Garcia of the Harford County Public Defender's Office.

Garcia asked Carey to consider lowering Antshonn's bond. She noted he has completed school through the eighth grade and he is enrolled in a GED class.

Assistant State's Attorney Alison Healey noted Antshonn's prior juvenile record of a slew of criminal charges, including robbery, theft, assault and vandalism.

"Mr. Martin is an extreme danger to the community," she said.

Carey agreed and increased Antshonn's bond to $100,000; he remained in jail Tuesday, according to online court records.

Information on charges against the other two was not available Tuesday.

Aegis Editor Ted Hendricks contributed to this story.

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