« City Hall evacuated; officials receive threatening letters | Main | Man shot, killed in drive by in Remington »

March 15, 2010

More on Donatello Fenner and the YGF

The shooting death of 22-year-old Donatello Fenner (left), a reputed gang leader, has sparked safety concerns in Charles Village and fear of retribution by police. Fenner, who was shot in an alley behind a school in the 2600 block of N. Calvert St., had long been on police radar as a "catalyst for violence" in the nearby Barclay neighborhood and in late 2008 was charged with attempted murder. We've obtained charging documents from that case that shed more light on the ongoing violence police believe Fenner was involved with, as we try to determine why his case was dropped in court. It's cliche to say this, but the allegations in the case read like they're right out of a script for "The Wire." Quiet, intimate, chilling.

Police accused Fenner was being involved in a "gang-sanctioned hit" ordered by members of the Young Gorilla/Guerrilla Family and Black Guerrilla Family in May 2008. Charging documents outline how the victim, Neal Davis, was hanging out with someone outside a home referred to as the "Honeycomb Hideout" by members of the BGF and YGF, when the man went inside. Another man, known to him as "Jay," asked to speak with him and ushered him down an alley in the 2200 block of Barclay St.

"Not realizing what was happening [Davis] walked with Jay down the alley and stopped just short of the part that has no lighting, next to a parked truck," Detective Dawnyell Taylor, then of the Eastern District detectives unit and now with homicide, wrote in charging documents. "Jay began to ask him what he had spoken to the police about and what he said to them concerning Jay and other BGF and YGF members. The victim, confused, began to dispute ever speaking with police. As Jay continued with his allegation to the victim, he noted that Jay would not stand directly in front of him, but off to the side. It was at this time that the victim saw out of the corner of his eye a figure come from the rear yard of 2200 Barclay Street."

"The victim stated he got a funny feeling and began to try to make out who the figure was and where it had gone. It was at this moment that the figure stepped from beside a parked vehicle and pointed the gun directly at his head and began to fire. The first bullet grazed the victim in the left temple. The person identified as Jay simply stepped aside and the victim began to run out of the alley but not before he was struck twice by bullets."

As luck would have it, Davis' brother was nearby and saw him collapse, and took him to Johns Hopkins Hospital. He survived.

Taylor wrote that the shooting was a gang-sanctioned hit, ordered because Davis had testified in a homicide that occurred in August 2000 in the 2100 block of Barclay St. In July 2003, the suspect in that case was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

Taylor said Fenner was "observed leading the gang meeting discussing the sanction against the victim in futherance of this gang conspiracy." Police searched his home, in the 1400 block of Gorsuch Ave., and recovered a .22 caliber revolver, five .22 caliber rounds, and four .38 caliber rounds. Fenner was among at least six people who were charged.

In August 2009, the charges against Fenner and several others were dropped. Jermaine Johnson, who is identified in court papers as "Jay," and Kenneth Jones, who is accused of firing the shots, is scheduled to go to trial April 21 on charges of conspiracy to commit first degree murder.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 6:48 PM | | Comments (8)
Categories: Gangs


Do the police think last night's shooting in Remington was linked to this one?

They're trying to figure that out. Obviously, police are very concerned that they could be connected but as of this morning the victim was a "John Doe." -Justin

Ppl never forget and wat goes around comes around. He seen wat happen to his brother...


i wish that police would not state things that are untrue about people my cousin has been tried many times but he was never convicted of anything but once and that was a hand gun charge they need to worry about all the crimes they are committing with in the district any one can be tried for something but only if they are found guilty should it affect their record I pray that one day the educational system and police department stop trapping our young men into death leaving them with no way out Donatello Fenner wascurrently enrolled in two colleges and planning to get his business degree he was a loyal friend and its ashame the police back our black people into corners with harrassment and brutality when will things ever change this country was founded on God and forgivness when will we all start to live that way

It's is crazy how the system works..."if your black and a male u did it" I knew this young man and I know that he was a good person, I also know the young man that they are accusing of this murder and I know he didn't do it he was one of don closest friend nd don is probably turnin in his grave rite now for what the police department is puttin one of his closes friend threw they went to find anything to bring black men down and they should b ashame of theirselves!Don only u know the truth it hurt so bad to see what they are doin!!!

Police mention that Don had recently violated probation while on GPS but what the police did not mention is his probation was from 7 a.m to 7p.m a week before he was due to be released from GPS they illegally search him around 6 something keeping out past his cerfewed time although they found nothing on him they arrested him for assult against an officer I was there and they beat him up and cuffed him so he never assulted anyone so they are the reason his probation was violated police always tell a story to justify why there is so much crime in baltimore but they never tell the whole story the truth that they are the main ones commtting the crime its sad but true protect and serve has gone out the door now the officers job is to harrass,beat, and kill we all no but we do nothing to stop it

It never fails to amaze me that people think killing is OK., cool, or show some signs of respect..I agree with the Commissioner...boys that carry guns are idiots...they react first...once the bars slam on their azz, they think later...Grow up!!

Stop with the he was good man stuff... He lead a double life and shooting and killing ppl caught up to him. REAL ppl who are in the streets know how he get down and this a result of his actions.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):

About Peter Hermann
Peter Hermann started covering news for The Baltimore Sun in 1990, first in Anne Arundel County and, starting in 1994, reporting on the Baltimore Police Department. In 2001, he was assigned to Jerusalem as the Baltimore Sun's Middle East correspondent. He returned in 2005 as an assistant city editor overseeing crime coverage. In 2008, Peter returned to the beat as a daily reporter and blogger. A recent BBC report featured him in a segment on the harsh realities of covering crime in Baltimore.

Coverage will focus on crime trends, problems in neighborhoods in the city and elsewhere, profiles of victims and police officers and try to offer readers a fresh perspective on one of the most vexing issues facing Baltimore and its future.

Contributing to this blog is Justin Fenton, who joined The Sun in 2005 and has covered the Baltimore City Police Department and the criminal justice system since 2008. His work includes an investigation into Cal Ripken Jr.’s minor league baseball stadium deal with his hometown of Aberdeen, a three-part series chronicling a ruthless con woman, coverage of the killing of five Amish children at a schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pa., and a job swap with a British crime reporter to explore differences in crime-fighting. A special report looking into how city police handle rape cases led to sweeping reforms that changed the way sexual assaults are investigated in Baltimore. He was recognized as the best reporter in Baltimore by the City Paper in 2010 and by Baltimore Magazine in 2011.

In the news

Sign up for FREE local news alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for local news text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Breaking News newsletter
When a big news event breaks, we'll e-mail you the basics with links to up-to-date details.
Sign up

Charm City Current
Stay connected