Man, 34, held in killing after TV features case

The Baltimore Sun

A man wanted by authorities in a shooting death in Boston has been arrested in Baltimore after the popular television show America's Most Wanted highlighted the case.

Earnest E. Ferguson, 34, who apparently had been working construction jobs in Baltimore and had been wanted for nearly two years, was arrested by the Regional Warrant Apprehension Task Force about noon April 16 on Furrow Street in Southwest Baltimore.

Two viewers from Baltimore called the TV show's tip line the day after the program aired April 14 with detailed information that placed Ferguson on Furrow Street working in construction, said Michelle Sigona, who is based in Bethesda as the national correspondent for America's Most Wanted. The show had aired Ferguson's story two times last year.

Ferguson, who was wanted in the August 2005 shooting death of Brian Whitsey of Brockton, Mass., a married father of five, was apparently aware of the broadcast, Sigona said.

"He did say, 'How did you get me so fast? This was just on Saturday night,'" Sigona said.

Ferguson, who has served prison time on manslaughter charges, is charged with shooting Whitsey several times in retribution for a 1992 shooting that left Ferguson's face disfigured, the TV show said. The man who was shot was not the man involved in the 1992 shooting, however, Sigona said.

A Boston police spokesman said Ferguson remains in custody in Baltimore and will be charged with murder when he arrives in Boston.

Ferguson, who lived in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood at the time of the killing, told police he has been homeless and had been living in shelters while in Baltimore. Sigona said it is unclear whether Ferguson has any relatives in Baltimore.

"I think it was just a place where he landed," she said.

Ferguson's boss, who spoke to Sigona, said Ferguson had been working for him for more than a year and was one of his most trusted employees.

"His boss told me, 'He was one of my hardest workers,' Sigona said. 'I've let him run my job sites. I trusted him with money. He never stole from me. He was always at work on time.'"

Sigona applauded the tipster, who allowed the show to label Ferguson its 933rd fugitive captured.

"I don't care if they're in a 'stop snitching' neighborhood like this," Sigona said. "It just took the right tipster that he met and the tipster that was brave enough to call us."

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