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City man charged in shooting death

November 24, 1997

City man charged in shooting death

By BRENDAN KIRBY

Staff Writer

Hagerstown City Police charged a man in connection with Sunday's fatal shooting of a Florida man hours after questioning him on Monday, authorities said.

Terrell Earl Jones, 23, of 64 1/2 W. Franklin St. in Hagerstown, was charged with first-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault and use of a handgun in a crime of violence, police said.

A District Court bond commissioner denied bond for Jones and ordered him jailed at the Washington County Detention Center. He will appear before a District Court judge today for a bond review hearing.

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Jones is accused in the fatal shooting of Christopher Dwaine Young, 24, of Fort Pierce, Fla. Young was shot in the head outside Bethel Garden apartments.

Police said they continue to investigate the slaying and plan to speak with more witnesses. Meanwhile, police have beefed up patrols in the neighborhood in an attempt to maintain calm.

"We want to make sure there's no retaliation and make sure the citizens feel secure," Capt. Robert Voytko said during a news conference Monday afternoon.

Voytko said two officers whose sectors include the Bethel Gardens area have spent more time in the vicinity since the shooting. They joined two community police officers who already patrol the neighborhood.

In addition, Voytko said three officers working overtime patrolled on Sunday and two overtime officers patrolled on Monday. He said he has instructed officers to make themselves more visible.

"We've told all officers to be out of their cars," he said.

Police released few details about the slaying on Monday, saying they did not want to jeopardize the investigation.

According to police, Officer Tammy Miller was driving north on Jonathan Street on Sunday at 11:13 a.m. when she heard a gunshot. When she reached the corner of Jonathan Street and Murph Avenue, she saw Young lying in the street.

Young had been talking to a group of people when one of them pulled a gun and shot him, police said.

Police declined to speculate on a motive for the shooting.

Sgt. Charles Summers, director of the Washington County Narcotics Task Force, said his agents were familiar with both Young and Jones. Summers said he and Wayne Ditlow assisted criminal investigators for about 19 hours on Sunday and early Monday.

Voytko said people should not infer that the slaying is drug related. He said task force agents have detailed knowledge of the neighborhood and often are asked to assist with homicide investigations.

Voytko said police tracked down Jones by "following up on leads. One person leads to another person who leads to another person."

Two city police detectives accompanied the body to Baltimore, where the state medical examiner's office conducted an autopsy. Police said they expected to have preliminary results this morning.

During Monday's news conference, police tried to ease the fears of anxious area residents. The shooting was the fourth slaying in Hagerstown this year and the sixth in Washington County.

"I think this can be viewed as an isolated incident," Voytko said.

Capt. Robert Hart said that problems have been on the rise in the neighborhood over the last few years.

"We hope it's not a trend. There's been an increase in homicides that last couple years," he said. "But with the problems in the Jonathan Street area, we're not really sure."

Bethel Gardens is within an area designated by local officials as a crime "hot spot." As part of the Maryland "HotSpots Community Initiative," federal and state funds will be used to specifically target about 16 blocks in the area.

Hart said officials have advertised for a coordinator to oversee the program, but the position has not been filled.

Police said the department brought many of its resources to bear during the investigation. Detective Wayne Shank said six investigators worked on the case, aided by about a dozen patrol officers.

Several off-duty officers came in on Sunday, Voytko said.

Several investigators worked almost 24 hours straight, Hart said. A prosecutor from the Washington County state's attorney's office also spent several hours offering legal assistance, police said.

Police asked anyone with information about the shooting to contact authorities at 301-790-3700, ext. 234.

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