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Police charge Baltimore man in death of friend


City police arrested a Northeast Baltimore man yesterday and charged him in the death of a 25-year-old man whose dismembered body was found in Leakin Park on May 4.

Robert McLain, 27, of the 2400 block of Bridgehampton Drive was charged with first-degree murder and a weapons violation, said Officer Sabrina Tapp-Harper, a police spokeswoman.

Mr. McLain was a friend of the victim, Gregory Melvin Smith, whose last known address was the same as Mr. McLain's, Officer Tapp-Harper said.

The two had lived together for a month but had been friends for nine years, she said.

Officer Tapp-Harper said the only motive for the murder was a "domestic argument." Police gave no other details.

Last month, police had to use fingerprints to identify Mr. Smith, whose body -- cut into parts that were placed in a plastic garbage bag -- was found by a man who was walking his dog in the 4700 block of Franklintown Road, near the city's western edge.

Mr. Smith, who had been stabbed repeatedly with a knife before being dismembered, appeared to have been dead for several days before his body was found.

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