Baltimore City

Man linked to '07 N.W. Baltimore murder through DNA, police say

At the crime scene in Northwest Baltimore, there was the victim, the gun and the discarded shirts.

Richard Lawson could not identify his attacker; in his last moments on Dec. 14, 2007, the 24-year-old told the first police officer on the scene that he had been robbed and shot in the chest by an unknown man, according to court records. That was the best Lawson could do before he was rushed to Sinai Hospital.


The gun, a revolver, sat in the threshold of the doorway, ditched by the shooter.

Then there were the shirts — a white T-shirt, a dark thermal long-sleeve shirt and a dark-hooded sweatshirt. They were layered and inside-out, the white T-shirt over the other two, as if they had been taken off all at once. They were spattered with blood.


Lawson would be pronounced dead within an hour of the shooting, and for more than two years the case went unsolved.

But on March 23, records show, police received notification from the state DNA database that it had matched genetic material from the inside neckline of the black thermal shirt to a 24-year-old man named Vincent Clark.

Detectives picked up Clark on April 28 and interviewed him. He said he had never seen the victim and had never been inside his home, in the 2900 block of Chelsea Terrace. He denied taking part in the killing before requesting an attorney and ending the interview.

Clark, of the 4100 block of Norfolk Ave., has now been charged in Lawson's death. Police released his picture last week, and he was picked up Tuesday. He is being held without bond.

According to court records, Clark has a record of burglary, convicted in 2007 and sentenced to 10 years with all but time served suspended. He was charged in 2009 with burglary, theft and malicious destruction of property; those charges were dropped.

Clark was one of two men charged with murder this week by city police detectives. Lamont Jackson, 23, of the 2900 block of Ridgewood Ave. is accused of shooting 50-year-old Michael Carroway on May 12 in the 4300 block of Daytona Ave. in Northwest Baltimore's Towanda-Grantley community.

Police located witnesses who identified Jackson as the suspect, and officers found Jackson in possession of the firearm used to kill Carroway, Detective Sandra Forsythe wrote in charging documents.

A motive for the crime was not disclosed.


According to court records, Jackson, of the 1600 block of Darley Ave., was already being held on handgun and drug trafficking charges filed in May.