Man charged in shooting death denied bond

June 01, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

Attention paid to a woman may have led to last month's fatal shooting in Hagerstown, according to court records.

Michael Dwayne Williams, 19, of Baltimore, who is charged in the shooting, appeared Tuesday before visiting District Court Judge Fred Bower for a videotaped bond review.

Because of the seriousness of the crime and Williams' criminal record, bond was denied in the shooting death of Desmar Bernard Artis, 18.

Williams said little during the hearing, sitting quietly at the Washington County Detention Center as Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Susan Lochbaum listed his prior offenses, including handgun possession, auto theft, theft, drug possession and making a false statement to a police officer.


"He is also on $25,000 bond for a pending drug distribution charge and a violation of probation," Lochbaum said.

At 11:16 p.m. on May 19, Hagerstown City Police went to East Franklin Street for reports of shots fired, court records said.

The police officers found nothing and left the area, court records said.

More than seven hours later, officers received a report of a man down in the first block of East Avenue, court records said.

They found Artis on the ground with one gunshot wound to the right shoulder. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Detectives Carroll Braun and George Brandt found witnesses who said Artis was sitting near a pizza parlor shortly after 11 p.m. on May 19 when a woman walked by, court records said.

The woman asked Artis and others sitting with him for a cigarette and Artis began "grabbing at the female and the two exchanged words," court records said.

The woman left, but returned a short time later with a man who asked her "who did it" and she pointed to Artis, court records said.

The man grabbed Artis by the arm, pulled a gun, pointed it at Artis' head and fired, court records said. Artis broke free and ran and several more shots were fired, court records said.

The others fled the area, court records said.

Identifying Williams as a possible suspect, police got a photograph of him and showed it and five other pictures to a witness who was present when the shots were fired.

That witness and another person present when the shots were fired pointed out Williams, court records said.

Police learned that Williams had been picked up in Baltimore for violation of probation, court records said.

He was detained there and picked up by Hagerstown police Friday.

Williams was charged with first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, using a handgun in the commission of a felony and carrying a handgun, according to court records.

Police said they did not know whether Williams and Artis had known each other.

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