Man gets 35 years for killing corrections officer
A Northeast Baltimore man was sentenced yesterday to 35 years in prison for killing a corrections officer in an armed robbery in May 2007. Brandon Wall, 22, of the 2000 block of Hillenwood Road, had pleaded guilty to felony first-degree murder for killing Lt. Perry Brooks, 48, as he sat in his 2004 Nissan Altima in the rear driveway of his home, one block away from where Wall lived. The killing was not related to Brooks' work in the Central Booking and Intake Center. Prosecutors said Wall approached Brooks, with the plan to rob him, at 2:30 a.m. May 25, 2007. Wall shot Brooks, and shell casings recovered at the scene matched those recovered from the shooting and robbery of a Morgan State University professor earlier that month. The professor, who was wounded in the attack, identified Wall from a photographic array. Wall later confessed to playing a role in the robbery and murder of Brooks. Baltimore Circuit Judge John A. Howard issued the maximum sentence permitted in Wall's plea agreement. Wall is not eligible for parole for the first five years of his sentence. If he violates probation after his release, he faces up to a life sentence in prison.
Woman, girl struck by car at busy intersection
A woman and a 7-year-old girl were each reported in critical condition at Sinai Hospital after they were struck by a car yesterday evening while attempting to cross a busy intersection in Northwest Baltimore, a city Fire Department spokesman said. Their names and their relationship were not available. Chief Kevin Cartwright, the spokesman, said the woman and the girl were crossing West Belvedere Avenue at the 5200 block of Park Heights Ave. about 5 p.m. when they were struck by a small two-door Honda, whose driver stopped. Cartwright said the woman and the girl each suffered internal injuries and were taken to the hospital by ambulance. Pedestrian error appears to have contributed to the accident, said Officer Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman. The incident remains under investigation.
Senator Theatre faces closure, owner warns
The owner of the Senator Theatre warned yesterday that the landmark movie house faces "imminent" closure without public support to help pay unspecified debts. At a news conference, Tom Kiefaber said he hopes to convert the operation to nonprofit, but that effort has stalled. He declined to elaborate on how soon the theater could go under or how much money was needed to keep it afloat. Two years ago, Kiefaber raised almost $110,000 through community donations to stave off a foreclosure proceeding. Three other times, Kiefaber has faced possible foreclosure only to ward them off with last-minute help. He bought the business from relatives 20 years ago and also operates the two-screen Rotunda Cinematheque in Hampden.
Bill would make it easier to fire police commissioner
City legislators want to make it easier for the Baltimore mayor to fire the police commissioner. New legislation introduced by Del. Curtis S. Anderson, a Baltimore Democrat and chairman of the city delegation, would change state law to specify that the commissioner serves "at the pleasure of the mayor." Currently, the mayor can dismiss the commissioner only under certain conditions, an issue in former Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin P. Clark's wrongful-termination lawsuit against the city.
Convicted murderer who escaped prison captured
A convicted murderer serving 40 years at the Maryland Correctional Institution at Hagerstown, who escaped Jan 17, was captured yesterday afternoon by state troopers after a foot chase in the tiny community of Boonsboro, about six miles south of the prison, state police said. Fingerprints taken at the state police barracks at Hagerstown were confirmed through an FBI comparison and identified the man as Kandelario Garcia-Ramos, 23, convicted for the 2007 fatal stabbing of his boss at a Prince George's County tire firm, police said.
$10 million in relief aid approved for bay's crabs
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has approved $10 million in disaster relief for Maryland's blue crab fishery, an agency spokeswoman said yesterday. In a letter to the state Department of Natural Resources, NOAA said it would release $2.2 million to help the state restructure the fishery. The U.S. Commerce Department in September declared the Chesapeake Bay's blue crab fishery a federal disaster, enabling affected states to apply for aid. Officials say the bay's blue crab stocks have declined 70 percent since the early 1990s.
Matthew Hay Brown