2nd suspect charged in fatal shooting of taxi driver

THE BALTIMORE SUN

A second suspect has been arrested and charged in last month's fatal shooting of an Edgewood taxi driver, who police say was the victim of a planned robbery tied to a local gang.

Darrell Levon Miller, 19, said during a police interview Wednesday that he knew of plans to shoot a taxi driver before the killing of Derald Howard Guess, 37, a father of nine, police said yesterday.

Miller was arrested without incident Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder at the Harford County sheriff's office in Bel Air.

Another suspect, Wayne Lavon Bond Jr., 17, of Edgewood, was charged Dec. 11, three days after Guess died of a gunshot wound to the head. Police say Bond, also charged with first-degree murder and being held at the Harford County Detention Center, pulled the trigger.

Guess' family received news of the second arrest without rancor yesterday.

"My heart goes out to their families," Michelle J. Guess said of those accused in the killing of her husband. "They didn't control what their children did, but they feel the pain as well."

Derald Guess was killed early Dec. 8 after he left to pick up a passenger in a suburban cul-de-sac a block from where his wife and nine children were sleeping in the family's townhouse.

Police said yesterday that Bond belongs to a local gang called 9 Tre Gangsta, a "subset" of a larger group styling itself after the infamous gang the Bloods. Police have not concluded whether Miller is a member.

Police are trying to determine whether Guess was the target of a gang rite that involves random killing, said Edward Hopkins, Harford sheriff's spokesman.

Miller, a resident of the 2400 block of Hanson Road in Edgewood, was denied bail yesterday in Harford County District Court. In addition to first-degree murder, he is charged with first-degree assault, use of a handgun in commission of a felony and second-degree murder.

Bond and Miller are accused of entering Guess' cab before dawn Dec. 8 in the Harford Square neighborhood of Edgewood. Bond is accused of shooting Guess.

Miller told police that Guess was shot after money was taken from him, according to charging documents.

Bond and Miller fled to a friend's townhouse in the 1700 block of Dearwood Court, a residential street where police later found two guns, Hopkins said. Police think one of the guns was used in the shooting.

Hopkins would not say whether police have other suspects, but he said they are searching for one or more people for questioning.

While police continue their investigation, Guess' family has adjusted to life without "the coach of our team," Michelle Guess said.

Family members have received an outpouring of support, including from teachers at Magnolia Elementary, where three of the Guess children are enrolled and where Derald Guess filled in as a substitute teacher, and from Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., who sent Michelle Guess a letter of condolence.

Guess' eldest child, Shamaar Guess, 20, said he has modeled his life on his father, a minister.

"My dad wrote down a vision for the family, and he taught me how to write down goals," Shamaar Guess said as he watched his 3-year-old brother in the family's living room yesterday. "I want to be a minister and follow in my dad's footsteps."

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