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November 29, 2011

Two arrests in recent city killings

A 21-year-old man has been arrested and charged in the Nov. 11 killing of a woman found shot to death inside her Northeast Baltimore home, police confirmed.

Darnell Kinlaw was being held without bond in the shooting death of Lakeisha Player, who was killed in her home in the 2600 block of Kentucky Avenue. In addition to murder and assault charges, Kinlaw, of the 5100 block of Harford Rd., is charged with car theft and theft less than $100, indicating there is a robbery aspect to the case. Police said the killing was domestic-related, but they declined to elaborate.

Kinlaw has two prior convictions related to car theft charges, court records show. 

Here's what a friend told me about Player earlier this month:

"She was a beautiful young woman full of life and love. She was born and raised in Baltimore City. A wonderful mother of two young children that she loved dearly and do anything for. She was working very hard to give her children more than they would imagine. There were her life she adored them. She will be sadly missed but not forgotten at all."

Police also said they had made an arrest in the Nov. 22 shooting death of 25-year-old Tavon Toney, who was fatally shot while walking in the 900 block of W. Franklin St. at about 7:45 a.m. Jerome Burgess Jr., 19, of the 2600 block of Springhill Ave., was arrested later that day, police said, though the arrest was not initially disclosed. He is charged with attempted first degree murder; a police spokesman was unable to explain the discrepency.

The arrest is the fifth time Burgess has been arrested and charged in a crime this year by city police, including prior cases of drugs, theft and robbery. 

Unsolved is the Nov. 14 shooting death of Steven Pennington, 32, of the 1900 block of Walbrook Ave. Pennington was shot at about 9:30 a.m. while walking in the 1700 block of Moreland Ave. in West Baltimore, police said. A gunman approached him and shot him multiple times before fleeing. A motive is unknown.

Posted by Justin Fenton at 3:56 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Northeast Baltimore, West Baltimore


I notice that over on the City Paper site Anna Ditkoff is waxing poetically on how Baltimore City’s homicide rate has decreased in 2011. As far as I’m concerned, it ain’t over until the fat lady sings. Talk to me on January 1st, 2012.

The real question is what is going to happen in December. Things aren’t as rosy as Ms. Ditkoff would like to believe. Sure homicides are down overall, but they are up already for people between the ages of 50-59 with 12 last year and 14 already this year, and things aren’t looking so grand for the 20-29s, with a total of 94 last year and already we have 91. The 20 to 29s are now an astonishing 49.7% of all the homicides in 2011, yet we routinely ignore this age range as an at-risk group susceptible to becoming victims of violent crime. We like to think of the young people as strong and independent. They aren’t.

Now let’s move on to my least favorite topic, the women. The reason I dislike female homicide victims so much is that our culture likes to view women as victims, a protected class, and we martyr female homicide victims who are killed by their intimate partners. 99.9% of the time when a male intimate partner harms a female intimate partner to the point where he kills her it’s not the first time there is abuse in the relationship. Often, women who are homicide victims caused by domestic violence have a long history of being in other relationships involving violent behavior.

However, I’ve got to say I’m more than a little proud of Baltimore’s women this year. Right now out of 183 homicides only 14 are that of women (The Sun claims 15 but it has misclassified Big Gurung as female) which are only 7.3% of the total homicides (183). With the arrest of the alleged killer of Lakeisha Player, this means that the Baltimore City Police Department has closed 78.6% (11) of the women’s cases this year, as opposed to a lot less of the men’s, I don’t have the number handy.

Furthermore, only 4 out of the 14 female homicide victims have been killed by a romantic intimate partner, although nobody has been charged in the killing of Chantel Ford, Tanyika Gibbs and Sherry Montgomery. Considering that in the outlying areas of Maryland the bulk of the homicide victims can be women killed by their intimate partner, that says something about the intelligence and fortitude of Baltimore’s women.

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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.

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