The man suspected of raping and killing a Baltimore real estate agent had been successfully completing the terms of his parole until the past month, when he abruptly stopped checking in with his parole agent, correctional officials said.
"Up until recently, he'd been reporting in on a regular basis with no problems," said Leonard A. Sipes Jr., a state Division of Correction spokesman. "He had a good history of supervision, and I would describe his past criminal history as nonviolent."
Kenny Lamont Brooks, 21, failed to meet with his parole agent on Tuesday, the day he is accused of fatally beating Lynne McCoy, 57, an O'Conor, Piper & Flynn real estate agent. Mrs. McCoy's body was found stuffed in an upstairs closet of a house in the 800 block of Glen Allen Drive in the Hunting Ridge neighborhood.
Police say Brooks posed as a potential buyer so that he could commit a robbery. He has been charged with first-degree murder, first-degree rape and robbery with a deadly weapon.
Brooks was paroled Aug. 2 after serving nearly one year of a 27-month sentence, Mr. Sipes said. That sentence was for auto theft and for violating his probation on a June 1992 burglary conviction.
Brooks also failed to meet with his parole agent on Dec. 7, but the agent later made contact with him and rescheduled the appointment, Mr. Sipes said.
"His failure to appear was not a parole violation. All the way up until that point, he'd been making regular contact. His first failure to appear was of no great concern" and was viewed more as an oversight on his part, Mr. Sipes said.
But, as a result of his failure to meet with the agent on Tuesday -- his second missed visit -- the Parole Commission has issued a warrant charging him with violation of parole, Mr. Sipes said.
Police arrested Brooks -- who lists an address in the 2700 block of St. Paul St. -- the day after the murder in Danville, Ill., where he has family and friends. He is alleged to have been driving the slain real estate agent's 1993 Chrysler New Yorker automobile.
The crime for which Brooks was on parole had some similarities to the Glen Allen Drive incident, police said. In June 1992, he visited a Baltimore home with an O'Conor, Piper & Flynn agent and returned later to steal several thousand dollars in property from the house.
He also stole a car at the residence and drove it out of state, police records show. He was arrested a month later in New Jersey.
"Every criminal has a modus operandi, and this was his," said city homicide Detective Donald K. Ossmus. "He targeted homes through real estate agents. He felt comfortable with it. It's been his trademark."
Brooks was identified as a suspect through Mrs. McCoy's paperwork and through physical evidence left at the scene, police said.
Because Mrs. McCoy was slain while showing a house, the homicide unit has gotten numerous calls from frightened real estate agents asking "Are we safe?" Detective Ossmus said.
He said that real estate agents, for the most part, are not being targeted by criminals, but he warns them to be careful.
"This is a type of scam that someone might try again," he said. "You've got to be aware who you're dealing with."