Veronica Alford, 49, is being held on $500,000 bail on charges that she helped her son and another youth conceal the death of Monae Turnage
(Baltimore Central Booking)

A Baltimore woman pleaded guilty Monday to helping her 13-year-old son and a 12-year-old friend conceal the fatal shooting last year of 13-year-old girl.

Monae Turnage was still breathing when the boys moved her from a Northeast Baltimore rowhouse to an alley, prosecutors have said. The girl's body was found under trash bags behind the Cliftview Avenue home about 20 hours after she was reported missing last March.


Veronica Alford, 49, was accused of helping the boys move the girl. Alford, 49, of the 1800 block of N. Bond St. pleaded guilty to being an accessory after Monae's death.

Lasy year, Alford's son tendered an admission -— the juvenile court equivalent of pleading guilty — to a charge of involuntary manslaughter for accidentally shooting Monae with a rifle from his home. Another boy admitted to helping move her.

Police recovered Alford's DNA on Monae's clothing, Assistant State's Attorney Andrew Kowalczyk told Baltimore City Circuit Judge Alfred Nance.

Kowalczyk said Alford told her daughter to hide the rifle in the car of a city police officer to whom she was engaged.

Prosecutors declined last year to charge Officer John A. Ward, saying they did not have enough information to pursue a case.

Alford's son, 13 at the time of the shooting, has been committed indefinitely to a treatment facility. The other boy, who was 12, was to be monitored by the Department of Juvenile Services while living with a relative in Harford County. The boys' names have not been released.

Martinez Armstrong, the alleged owner of the rifle, has been charged with reckless endangerment. He is the half brother of one of the boys. Police say he left the weapon where they could find it. His trial is scheduled to begin on Wednesday.

Monae's mother said after the hearing Monday that she would never understand Alford's actions, especially since Alford has children of her own.

"We could have saved a child's life," Edith Turnage said. "I don't think anyone can imagine the loss."

David Wright, Monae's uncle, said she was a beautiful, friendly, outgoing child.

Isaac Klein, Alford's attorney, said, "Our hearts go out to everyone that's been touched by this tragedy." He declined to comment further.

Alford's sentencing is scheduled June 13.