Bal­ti­more homi­cide toll reaches 200

Fa­tal stab­bing Fri­day of 42-year-old man marks lat­est killing in the city

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By Justin Fen­ton Bal­ti­more Sun re­porter Colin Camp­bell con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle. jfen­ton@balt­sun.com

Bal­ti­more of­fi­cially has had 200 homi­cide vic­tims in 2016 af­ter an au­topsy con­firmed a 42-year-old man found dead Fri­day just west of down­town had been fa­tally stabbed.

The vic­tim, iden­ti­fied Mon­day as Fran­swhaun Smith, was found Fri­day about 7:50 a.m. in the 700 block of Mur­phy Lane, in the Her­itage Cross­ing neigh­bor­hood that was for­merly the site of the Mur­phy Homes pub­lic hous­ing devel­op­ment.

Smith was pro­nounced dead at the scene. Po­lice said an au­topsy con­firmed he had been stabbed in the back.

It is the fifth con­sec­u­tive year Bal­ti­more’s homi­cide tally has reached 200 af­ter record­ing197 in all of 2011. That was the first time the city had recorded fewer than 200 vic­tims since the late 1970s.

Last year, 344 peo­ple were killed in Bal­ti­more, the city’s high­est high­est-per capita rate ever.

As of Aug. 20, the most re­cent data avail­able, homi­cides were down 11 per­cent com­pared with the same time last year, while non­fa­tal shoot­ings were up slightly, from 414 at that time last year to 427 this year.

Po­lice did not re­lease any ad­di­tional de­tails about Smith’s death. They asked any­one with in­for­ma­tion to call de­tec­tives at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

Court records show Smith pleaded guilty to sec­ond-de­gree mur­der in 1998, re­ceiv­ing a sen­tence of 30 years with all but five years sus­pended. Af­ter three vi­o­la­tions of his pro­ba­tion, he was sen­tenced to 15 years of the sus­pended time in 2004. A spokesman for the state prison sys­tem con­firmed Smith was re­leased in July 2014.

At­tempts to reach rel­a­tives were not im­me­di­ately suc­cess­ful.

Smith was one of sev­eral re­cent homi­cide vic­tims. Over the week­end, po­lice ar­rested 23-year-old Jerome Arnold and charged him with first-de­gree mur­der in the death of a woman he con­fessed to killing in a wooded area in Brook­lyn.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­gan when po­lice in Howard County re­ceived a call Fri­day af­ter­noon from a rel­a­tive of Arnold’s in El­li­cott City, who sus­pected that Arnold may have been in­volved in a crime in Bal­ti­more. Arnold was taken to Bal­ti­more po­lice head­quar­ters, where he told po­lice he had killed Lisa Stud­ley, 36, and left her body in a wooded area off St. Mar­garet Street, ac­cord­ing to charg­ing doc­u­ments.

Po­lice found Stud­ley’s body on the ground with head trauma and in a pool of blood, po­lice wrote in charg­ing doc­u­ments.

Arnold de­scribed Stud­ley to po­lice as his girl­friend, and said he had lured her into the woods us­ing a ruse that he wanted to “talk.” He then struck her sev­eral times in the head with a ham­mer, po­lice said.

Arnold said he put his bloody clothes into a back­pack and put on a new out­fit. Po­lice later re­cov­ered the back­pack and bloody clothes.

At­tempts to reach Stud­ley’s fam­ily were not suc­cess­ful.

Arnold ap­peared Mon­day be­fore a dis­trict judge and was or­dered held with­out bond pend­ing trial. He did not have a lawyer listed in court records.

A 48-year-old man also was shot in the chest in West Bal­ti­more early Mon­day, po­lice said.

Of­fi­cers were called at 1:55 a.m. to the 2300 block of Lau­retta Ave., where they found the vic­tim, who was not named.

Po­lice did not re­lease the man’s con­di­tion, but said he was con­scious and breath­ing when he was taken to a hos­pi­tal.

Any­one with in­for­ma­tion may call 410396-2221 or Metro Crime Stop­pers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

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