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Murder Ink

Murders this Week: 8; Murders this Year: 63

The death of Phylicia Barnes, a 16-year-old African-American girl, was added to the city’s homicide tally on April 25, though it was ruled a homicide on May 4, 2011. On April 25, Michael Johnson, a 28-year-old African-American man, was arrested and charged with her murder. Barnes, who lived in North Carolina, came to Baltimore on Dec. 17, 2010, to visit her sister. On Dec. 28, 2010, she was reported missing. Her body was found in the Susquehanna River near the Conowingo Dam in Harford County on April 20, 2011. According to The Baltimore Sun, Johnson is being accused of asphyxiating Barnes in her sister’s apartment in the 6500 block of Eberle Drive the day she disappeared. He then allegedly put her body in a plastic tub, which he was seen struggling to remove from the apartment.

Mark Day, a 44-year-old African-American man, was also added to the list of 2012 homicide victims this week. Day was shot repeatedly in the back on Aug. 23, 2010, in the 1500 block of West North Avenue. He died nearly two years later on March 14, 2012. His death has been ruled a homicide resulting from the 2010 shooting.

Even without counting Barnes’ and Day’s homicides, this week tied for the most murderous this year.

Monday, April 23

4:06 a.m. A man was shot in the head in the 2700 block of Boarman Avenue in Central Park Heights. He died at a local hospital half an hour later. Police are waiting until his family has been notified of his death to release his name.

2:47 p.m. That afternoon, Somchanh Sipaynoun, a 37-year-old Asian woman, was found in the basement bathroom of a home in the 5400 block of Hillburn Avenue in Waltheron with stab wounds to her body. Sipaynoun died at a city hospital at 3:27 p.m. Police believe that her death may have been the result of domestic violence but no one has been arrested for her murder. Sipaynoun is the sixth female murdered this year.

Tuesday, April 24

10 p.m. Floyd Dorsey, a 59-year-old African-American man, got into some kind of dispute with a young-looking African-American male wearing a skullcap, while sitting on the front porch of his home in the 4100 block of Norfolk Avenue. During the dispute, which police believe may have been an attempted robbery, the male shot Dorsey in the chest. Dorsey was discovered on the porch by a family member but died at an area hospital less than an hour later.

Wednesday, April 25

10:47 p.m. The next night, Michael Williams, a 45-year-old African-American man, was shot in the chest on the front steps of his home in the 2500 block of Harlem Avenue. He died at a city hospital at 11:17 p.m.

Thursday, April 26

5:07 p.m. Cortez Lemon, a 23-year-old African-American man, was stabbed in the stomach and chest in the 400 block of West Saratoga Street near Lexington Market and the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus downtown. He died at a nearby hospital at 7:10 p.m. Troy Harrison, a 21-year-old African-American man, was arrested the next day and charged with Lemon’s murder. This is the fourth murder in the Central Police District this year.

Friday, April 27

10:20 p.m. Rayner Veney, a 51-year-old African-American man, died at an area hospital nearly a year after being shot. Veney was on a scooter in the rear of the 3400 block of Ravenwood Avenue on June 20, 2011, when he was shot in the head. The shooting left Veney in a coma until his death.

Update

On April 23, Tyrone Webb Jr., a 31-year-old African-American man, was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years for the 2008 murder of his girlfriend Mia Nichols, a 37-year-old African-American woman. Webb shot her twice in the head in their apartment in Northwest Baltimore City and then dumped Nichols’ body in the woods in Baltimore County. After disposing of the body, Webb called authorities to report Nichols missing. Nichols’ skeleton was found by hunters on Sept. 26, 2009. Webb was initially tried in Baltimore County resulting in a hung jury. It was subsequently determined that the murder actually occurred in Baltimore City and he was retried here. Despite the fact that Nichols was murdered in Baltimore City, this column has no record of her death being added to the homicide rolls.

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