Death penalty sought in killings

The Baltimore Sun

Federal prosecutors in Maryland said yesterday they will seek the death penalty against two Baltimore men in a case involving three drug-related murders, including the fatal shooting of a federal witness.

Melvin Gilbert, 33, and James Dinkins, 35, are accused of participating in a drug ring called Special that sold heroin, cocaine and marijuana in Baltimore between June 2002 and February 2007. The gang killed three people and shot a fourth to intimidate and retaliate against potential witnesses, according to Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein.

Gilbert and another man are accused of fatally shooting John Dowery in 2006 to prevent him from testifying and providing information to federal authorities about the gang. Gilbert is also charged in the 2005 killing of Shannon Jemmison, as is Dinkins. Dinkins also is charged in the fatal 2005 shooting of Michael Bryant.

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