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Man who had been held in boy's death is freed


A convicted sex offender held since December in the stabbing death of an 11-year-old West Baltimore boy was released from prison yesterday, one day after prosecutors cited a lack of evidence while dropping a murder charge against the man.

Warren C. "Ice" Berry was released from the state prison system's Reception, Diagnostic and Classification Center in Baltimore after a parole commissioner determined that he was no longer in violation of the conditions of his December 1991 release. Berry served 11 years of a 15-year sentence for two sex offenses involving minors, said Leonard Sipes, spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety and Corrections.

Mr. Sipes said charges that Berry, 30, had violated the terms of that earlier release stemmed from his arrest in the boy's slaying. Officials had no cause to hold him after the charges were dropped, Mr. Sipes said.

The spokesman said Berry will be under the "intensive supervision" of parole officials and will be required to receive counseling for substance abuse and for a sexual disorder. Berry also must have no contact with any minor child unless the child is accompanied by an adult, Mr. Sipes said.

Mr. Sipes said Berry had never been paroled on his sex offense convictions but received his "mandatory release" in December 1991 after serving his entire sentence minus good-time credits. Berry, of the 3900 block of Glenhunt Road, remains a suspect in the investigation into the death of Michael Shawn Gasque -- and subject to arrest if additional evidence surfaces -- a prosecutor said Wednesday. The boy's body was found Dec. 18 in an abandoned shed in a wooded area near his home in Edmondson Village.

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