14-year-old denied bail in alleged rape and killing of elderly neighbor in West Baltimore

A judge denied bail Monday for a Baltimore seventh-grader charged with rape and murder, saying he poses an extreme risk to public safety.

Tyrone Harvin, 14, was arrested Friday and charged with killing his elderly neighbor Dorothy Mae Neal. The 83-year-old woman was found beaten and sexually assaulted last month inside her West Baltimore apartment.

Police wrote in charging documents that the boy has not admitted to the crime.

A DNA test of the evidence was pending when he was arrested last week. However, officers said they found the boy’s fingerprints on a condom wrapper inside the apartment, the documents state.

The charging documents describe the scene in Neal’s apartment. Officers found a broken and bloodied lamp and dried blood on the door.

Harvin, who had attended Harlem Park Middle School, lives one block away from the crime scene, on Winchester Street. Police searched the boy’s home last Wednesday. Officers wrote that they recovered condoms and clothes from his home.

Police wrote that when they questioned him, he said he didn’t know Neal and had never been to her home. Then he admitted to helping her take out trash and talking to her about church, police wrote.

“He stated that while at the victim’s apartment he picked up a lamp on a table near the kitchen — simply to look at it — and that at some point he may have dropped some property of his,” the officers wrote.

Police found Neal unconscious in her apartment. A neighbor had called police because she had not seen Neal for several days.

The 83-year-old had cuts on her lip and face, fractures to her face and signs of sexual assault. She was pronounced dead August 30 at the hospital.

Harvin was charged as an adult and jailed. In Maryland, murder and rape are crimes in which children are automatically charged as adults. Online court records do not list his attorney.

He appeared on video screen for a bail hearing Monday. Baltimore District Judge Devy Patterson Russell ordered attorneys to not openly discuss Harvin’s juvenile record. Juvenile crimes are typically confidential.

The boy had been charged as an adult last year with armed robbery and second-degree assault. Those charges were later dropped and he was prosecuted in juvenile court, said Melba Saunders, spokeswoman for the Baltimore State’s Attorney Office.

Harvin is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in the murder case next week. He faces life in prison.

tprudente@baltsun.com

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