Murder suspect takes stand, denies pulling trigger in Canton street killing of bartender

Malik Mungo took the stand Thursday and admitted to making trouble that June night. He admitted to prowling Canton for unlocked cars to steal. He even admitted to ditching the weapon and later lying to FBI agents.

The teen from Northeast Baltimore, however, insisted that he didn’t rob and shoot Sebastian Dvorak two years ago. On the anniversary of Dvorak’s death, the suspect in his killing was in court testifying in his own defense.

Mungo told a Baltimore County jury the gunman was a casual acquaintance he knew only as “Goon.”

“Goon got mad that the guy put up a tussle,” Mungo told jurors. “I just remember him pointing the gun … I said, ‘Why did you shoot him?’”

Known as “Sebass,” Dvorak was a popular bartender at Ryleigh's Oyster locations. He had been celebrating his 27th birthday in Canton and walking home on Boston Street. Dvorak was robbed and gunned down near the landmark Can Company building.

His death launched Baltimore police — eventually FBI agents, too — on a yearlong investigation that toppled an East Baltimore street gang led by the Bloods. The Maryland Attorney General’s Office indicted 13 people on gang conspiracy charges. The crew sold heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, oxycodone and marijuana in McElderry Park east of Johns Hopkins Hospital, prosecutors said.

Eight of 13 defendants pleaded guilty and a ninth was convicted at trial. Three others are to be tried in August. Mungo alone is charged with killing Dvorak.

His murder trial began two weeks ago in Baltimore County Circuit Court. Three of the convicted gang members and a fourth witness testified that Mungo admitted to shooting Dvorak.

Outside the courtroom, his mother, Patricia Davis, said these witnesses were enticed to testify against her son with sweetheart plea deals.

Prosecutors hammered the 18-year-old about events that led to Dvorak’s death. Mungo had previously been questioned on video by detectives, but his story had changed.

“I lied a lot when I was talking to them,” Mungo admitted Thursday.

Assistant Attorney General Jared Albert peppered him with questions about the time and location of the killing. Surveillance cameras captured Mungo running from the scene with another man, but Mungo turns back alone. He initially told detectives that he went back to retrieve Dvorak’s dropped computer tablet. Then he changed his story to say he had dropped his shirt while running, or maybe a scarf he was carrying.

Albert went over the inconsistencies again and again.

“Mr. Jared, I get what you’re trying to do. I already admitted I lied,” Mungo said.

In his account Thursday, Mungo said he had smoked marijuana and was walking around Canton with “Goon” looking for a car to steal. They were tugging door handles for one unlocked. His birthday was five days away; he wanted a car to take joyriding, Mungo said.

Then they saw Dvorak walking up Boston Street alone.

Mungo testified that “Goon” took off running toward Dvorak with the gun. Mungo said he shouted after him.

“I was trying to talk him out of robbing him,” he testified.

He said that “Goon” hit Dvorak in the face — medical examiners found a gash in his forehead — then “Goon” robbed and shot him. They both ran off through Patterson Park. Mungo said he took the gun and ditched it.

Police continue to search for “Goon,” though prosecutors say Mungo actually pulled the trigger. The teen could face life in prison if convicted.

The attorneys are expected to present their closing arguments Friday.

tprudente@baltsun.com

twitter.com/Tim_Prudente

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