Baltimore police announced the arrests of two men in the death of a 16-year-old girl and the indictments of 11 members of a suspected drug crew they say might be responsible for some of the violence that has roiled the city in recent weeks.
Baltimore Sun: The arrests and indictments come as police face criticism amid a surge of shootings and killings since the arrest of Freddie Gray. The 25-year-old Baltimore man died in April after suffering a severe spinal cord injury in police custody.
“We are in the battle,” police Commissioner Anthony W. Batts said Thursday. “You can see we are in the battle, and we’re showing you we are in the battle and we’re taking this very seriously.”
Adonay Dixon and John Childs were charged with first-degree murder in the death of Arnesha Bowers, an 11th-grader at City College.
Police said Bowers was sexually assaulted in her home in the Westfield neighborhood of Northeast Baltimore and then strangled with an electrical cord.
They said Dixon, 23, and Childs, 20, stole $40, an iPad and a laptop, and then set the home on fire.
Police Maj. Stanley Bradford, the head of Baltimore’s homicide unit, said “the motive was evil.”“Can you imagine leaving your child at home and two people come into her house hell-bent on death and destruction?” he asked. “I can only imagine what the last moments of Arnesha’s life was like. It must have been pure hell.”
According to Baltimore police, Childs told detectives that he and Dixon planned to rob Bowers’ home.
They said Bowers had been spending time with Childs and Dixon at Childs’ apartment building.
After Bowers’ grandmother picked her up on Saturday, police said, Dixon followed the car home on a bike. Once he knew where Bowers lived, police said, he returned with Childs.
“They believed the house would contain items of value because Arnesha’s grandmother has a job and owned two vehicles, and planned to break into the property and steal any valuables,” police wrote in a report.
Police said the men knew Bowers’ grandmother was working and Bowers was home alone. If the teen awoke, police said, Dixon planned to put her in a chokehold.
The pair entered through a basement window, police said. Bowers awoke, police said, and Dixon dragged her into the basement while Childs ransacked the home, taking money from purses and a safe.
According to police, Childs told detectives that Dixon and Bowers were in the basement for 30 minutes.
Then Dixon came upstairs and said they needed to leave “because the house was on fire,” police said. Dixon told Childs the girl was dead, police said.
Her body had been set on fire, as had her bed, dresser and a basement utility room, police said. They said a check of her phone showed calls between her phone and a phone belonging to Dixon hours before she was killed.Police said Childs confessed to the killing and burglary on Wednesday and implicated Dixon. Police arrested Dixon hours later.
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