Two Southwest Baltimore men were charged with first-degree murder yesterday in the stabbing death of a 14-year-old city boy who was killed at a Lansdowne apartment complex Sunday evening after he tried to stick up for a girl he apparently didn't know, authorities said.
Baltimore County police said the victim, Rodney Loban Knox of the 2500 block of Ridgely St., confronted Maurice Felton, 21, about touching a girl on the buttocks as she walked past a building in the Circle Terrace Apartments in the 2900 block of Lakebrook Circle.
The argument began after officers, who were investigating the apparent sexual assault reported by a young woman about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, had left the area.
During the confrontation, Felton and another man, Marcus K. Lucas, 20, pulled out knives and began stabbing Knox and a teen-ager who came to Knox's aid, Adrian Brown, 16, of the 100 block of N. Hilton St., police said.
Lucas also stabbed Felton accidentally, police said. Felton and Brown were taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center and were later released.
Knox, who was a freshman at Fairmount-Harford High School in Baltimore and dreamed of being a professional basketball player, died at Shock Trauma.
"It's a shame," Knox's mother, Monica Diggs said yesterday.
It was some consolation, Diggs said, that her son died trying to stand up for what was right. "My father instilled that in him -- to respect women and people in general," she said.
Knox and Brown grew up together. Knox was raised in the neighborhood where he was stabbed and was visiting friends there Sunday evening, Diggs said.
Both his mother and police said they did not think he knew the girl who was allegedly assaulted.
It was unclear whether Felton, of the 200 block of E. Lanvale St., and Lucas, of the 200 block of S. Hilton St., knew each other or the teen-agers they are accused of stabbing, said Cpl. Ron Brooks, a police spokesman.
Officers found two knives near the scene -- one that appeared to be a kitchen knife and a larger utility knife. The weapons were being analyzed yesterday to determine whether they were used in the stabbings, Brooks said.
Felton and Lucas were being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center yesterday without bail.