Trinidad deports man charged in caterer's death; Baltimore detectives escort suspect from Caribbean isle


A man charged with killing a Baltimore caterer was brought back to Maryland yesterday after he was deported from Trinidad, city police said.

Robert Malcolm Jackson, 28, was arrested on the Caribbean island Jan. 1 on an unrelated charge, which wasn't specified yesterday. On Monday, authorities discovered that he was wanted in Baltimore.

U.S. prosecutors had been preparing for an extradition hearing, but police said Trinidad authorities decided to deport Jackson without a court appearance.

Two Baltimore City homicide detectives flew to Trinidad Wednesday and escorted the suspect to Maryland yesterday afternoon.

Jackson, of the 2300 block of Chelsea Terrace, is charged with first-degree murder in the June 24homicide of William E. Gilbert, 51.

Jackson's family could not be reached for comment yesterday. According to court records, he does not yet have an attorney.

Gilbert, the owner of a Federal Hill food brokerage company, was shot six times during a daylight attack in the 300 block of Dolphin St.

Gilbert was found lying near his unlocked white Lexus. The keys were dangling from the ignition and the victim's wallet, with money and credit cards, was in his back pocket.

Police said they found a 9 mm Ruger handgun under a bush a block away. It was later identified as the weapon that fired the fatal shots.

Detective Kenneth J. Welsh Jr. of the homicide unit said he could not understand why the car was not stolen.

Gilbert had been trying to sell the car and had apparently met the suspect through a newspaper ad, police and family members said. Police said they quickly learned a name of a potential suspect, but would not disclose the source. Additional evidence came from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, which traced ownership of the weapon.

Michael Campbell, an ATF spokesman, said the gun belonged to the suspect's uncle, who brought it to Maryland from Dayton, Ohio, on June 19 when he visited Baltimore to attend a funeral.

Campbell said the man was staying at a house in which Jackson lived, and that the gun was stolen from the trunk of the man's car during the visit.

Gilbert was shot less than a week later.

Gilbert's co-workers at the former Gilbert Connections, and his wife of three years, Charlie Ray, said they were relieved that a suspect would be tried. "It's a sad thing to be happy about," Ray said.

Gilbert's wife said she is relieved by the capture, but she has many questions.

"Maybe this will be some type of closure," Ray said. "But I still don't understand why it happened."

Pub Date: 1/08/99

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