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Slain man's friends mark death site

November 26, 1997

Slain man's friends mark death site

By BRENDAN KIRBY

Staff Writer

Edgy Jonathan Street-area residents Tuesday erected an impromptu memorial of balloons, flowers and wreaths for a Florida man who was slain Sunday, as police investigators continued to question witnesses to the shooting.

Christopher Dwaine Young, 24, of Fort Pierce, Fla., was gunned down shortly after 11 a.m. Sunday as he talked with a group of people outside Bethel Gardens apartments at the corner of Jonathan Street and Murph Avenue.

Terrell Earl Jones, 23, of 64 1/2 W. Franklin St., was charged with first-degree murder on Monday.

During a Tuesday bond review hearing District Judge Noel Spence ordered Jones held without bond at the Washington County Detention Center. Jones will have a preliminary hearing on Dec. 23 at 1 p.m.

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Young's friends marked his death Tuesday with candles, wreaths and flowers. Black balloons with handwritten notes adorned the display.

"He was a nice guy and he didn't deserve to die like that. They killed him and left him lying there," said friend Carmen King.

King, 32, said Young had been staying with relatives in Hagerstown since January or February.

"He was a friend. He was nice to everybody," she said.

King was one of the few people in the neighborhood who was willing to talk on Tuesday. Tensions ran high. At one point, Hagerstown City Police officers dispersed a group in the area.

Sgt. Ronald Graves said investigators were trying to determine if anyone else was involved in the shooting.

"We've been talking to people all day long," he said.

Jones, who also is charged with first- and second-degree assault and use of a handgun in a crime of violence, was convicted on Sept. 24 on a charge of possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Judge Frederick C. Wright III handed Jones a six-year suspended prison sentence for that conviction. He placed him on probation for four years and ordered him to continue in Jail Substance Abuse Program aftercare.

Police declined to speculate on whether drugs played a role in Young's slaying. Graves said investigators have not focused on Jones' criminal record.

"I haven't seen it. I wouldn't know," he said. "It hasn't been important to us yet."

Some area residents praised the community's outpouring of support and expressed hope that the shooting would spur change.

"No matter what the situation was, this boy was somebody's son," said Hagerstown resident Wanda Broadus, who attends church at Zion Baptist Church on West Bethel Street.

"I have a son. I can imagine what this would be like," she said. "Or maybe I can't, because I've never been through this."

Broadus said the display demonstrates the compassion of most of the neighborhood's residents.

"Not everybody thought like the boy who pulled the trigger," she said. "If one person turned their lives around, it would be a good thing."

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