A Circuit Court judge yesterday sentenced a man to life in prison for killing a rival drug dealer two years ago in a dispute over territory in Southeast Baltimore, city prosecutors said.
Kenneth Mahai of Parkville was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder and weapons violations in August. Prosecutors said Mahai had been indicted twice in the crime.
After the first charge in April 2006, prosecutors said a key witness disappeared after being threatened, and the murder charge had to be dropped. Prosecutors said they later located the witness in New Jersey and reindicted the case.
Police said the victim, Jermaine Morrison, had gotten out of prison after serving 18 months for distributing drugs in the 1700 block of Nome Ave. in Southeast Baltimore.
The police said Morrison returned to his corner in October 2005 and got into an argument with Mahai, who authorities said had taken over selling drugs in the area.
Police said Morrison was stabbed several times and died later at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.