Baltimore Sun

Here's looking at you, kid

The last time Qonta Waddell's mother saw him alive, the slightly built 24-year-old was hogtied and screaming for his life as he was carried away by two men with handguns.

That's what I reported last May when 32-year-old Sherman Anderson was charged in Waddell's murder. A full year later, Anderson has been cleared, and four other men are now facing charges.

Among them: a 36-year-old named Humphrey Bougarte Johnson. (Pictured at right)  He deserves consideration for having one of the best names of anyone I've written about, however, The Daily Record's report about bank fraud suspect Brotha Workitout is clearly the winner in this category.


A law enforcement source said charges against Anderson were dropped after investigators tested a piece of evidence and got a DNA hit for Aaron Davis, who was charged in late January. Anderson and Davis apparently share physical features, and he may have been wrongly picked out of a photo lineup. But the DNA match put the focus squarely on Davis, the source said.

It's the second time in a few months we've seen a homicide investigation completely shift gears. Earlier this month, charges were dropped against a woman who police had charged with stabbing her boyfriend to death, and instead charged three men who are alleged gang members. 


Davis' arrest apparently kickstarted the investigation again, because police have since arrested three other men.  The most recent is Derrell Rickey Johnson, who was picked up yesterday, police said.

Also charged are the aforementioned Humphrey Johnson, who was charged on April 21, and William Arthur Rhodes, who was arrested Feb. 27.

Here's the harrowing account of the kidnapping, from charging documents:

Police say that at 4 a.m. April 21, Waddell's grandfather encountered three unknown men in his Pen Lucy home in North Baltimore who said Waddell was outside and had given them permission to enter. They took a handgun and $40,000 in cash, then emptied a safe.

Within an hour, at about 5:40 a.m., Waddell arrived at his mother's home in the Beechfield neighborhood in Southwest Baltimore. His brow bloodied, Waddell, who stood 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighed about 125 and was nicknamed "Little Guy," was accompanied by two men clutching handguns.

The gunmen instructed Waddell and his mother to sit on a couch and told Waddell to call his "buddy" and tell him where he was. It was not clear from charging documents whom the men wanted Waddell to call or why. But after Waddell was unable to reach his friend, one of the men said he was going to kill Waddell.

"The victim made repeated statements to his mother that the suspects were going to kill him while holding onto his mother's legs for dear life," Detective Dawnyell Taylor wrote in charging documents. "The suspects #1 and #2 began to pry the victim from his mother's leg."

Documents show Waddell was bound by the hands and feet and placed in a vehicle. A short time later officers were called to the 3100 block of Windsor Ave. in Walbrook, where Waddell had been shot multiple times.