This sounds exactly like The Wire… “He’s a mean guy!”
James Berry III, once a promising boxer, was charged with four counts of murder and faces additional charges in several attempted killings. The Baltimore Sun reported in December that Berry, 25, was being investigated in a triple shooting that killed two brothers and injured their mother. That case revealed disagreements among police and prosecutors over when to bring charges.
The latest charges bring to nine the number of people police have accused Berry of shooting since 2008. Six have died.
Three of Berry’s associates — Tyrone Carter, 23, Travian Taylor, 22, and Quinzell Covington, 27 — were also charged in the alleged murder conspiracy.
Baltimore State’s Attorney Gregg L. Bernstein said the wave of violence began with the killing of Brian Goodwin in June 2008. Bernstein said Berry spread a rumor that another crew member had killed him.
“That murder divided a group of friends who called themselves ‘D-Block’ and touched off a years-long war of retaliation,” Bernstein said.
Prosecutors say Berry and about nine other people were members of D-Block, which they say dealt drugs near the corner of Division and Bloom streets in Druid Heights.
When Goodwin was killed in 2008, prosecutors say, Berry told others that crew member Romie Ziegler was responsible.
Ziegler was killed days later in the same block, and the group split, with members either remaining loyal to Berry or blaming Berry for Ziegler’s death, prosecutors said. A man named James Wesley Spriggs is serving a life sentence for Goodwin’s murder.
Among the killings Berry is now charged with are the fall 2008 double shooting of cousins Justin Berry and Howard Grant, alleged D-Block members who turned away from Berry after Ziegler’s killing.
In 2008, The Sun reported that Justin Berry, a freshman at Morgan State University, and Grant had survived several shootings and police feared they could be targeted. The men declined to go into a protection program and refused to cooperate with police. They were shot dead days later.
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