STATE WITNESS MURDERED | North Baltimore shooting was 'targeted' execution
BALTIMORE (WBFF) - A witness to a Baltimore shooting is gunned down in his car, and court documents reveal the possible planning behind the attack, in what police say “appears to be a targeted execution.”
On Oct. 27, Melvin Ford was shot and killed in his car on Greenmount Avenue in Baltimore’s Harwood neighborhood. Court records show he was shot twice in the head at point-blank range. Ford was scheduled to be a witness at a trial starting Nov. 6.
In that trial, Ford was to testify against Travis Wells. Police say Ford identified Wells as one of the men who shot Shawn Thomas back in June. Ford declined witness protection.
The State’s Attorney cannot comment on an open case but did say in an email to FOX45:
“The safety of our city relies on citizens participation in the criminal justice process. Understanding the history of witness intimidation in Baltimore City and the severity of potential consequences, like was the case in the death of the Dawson family, our office takes the protection of witnesses and victims of crime very serious. We continue to stress the importance that all stakeholders in the criminal justice system, including defense attorneys and media, keep the vulnerability of witnesses to crime at the forefront of their responsibilities as officers of the court.”
Court records show his attorney, Gil Amaral, told Wells Ford identified him as the shooter. In a phone call with FOX45, Amaral says Wells, and anyone else accused of a crime, “are entitled to know who is accusing them.” Amaral says Wells has not pled guilty to the shooting of Thomas. The trial for that shooting was postponed until March 2018.
When Ford was murdered, detectives began reviewing telephone calls Wells made from prison.
He allegedly called men nicknamed “Fatts,” “Black-Faced Mikey,” “The Janitor”, aka “Clean-Up Man,” and others.
“Whatever Yo got to do to holla at [Ford] to get [Ford] to do right or whatever,” Wells is quoted as saying in one prison call. “Fatts,” a nickname for Aisheem Yarberough, is quoted in a response to Wells, “we on top of it; we gonna full-court-press him; we gonna tell him this is how it’s gonna be.”
Police charged four men in Ford’s murder: Yarberough, Julius Wilson, Jr., or “The Janitor,” Deshaen Carroll, and Kevin Whitfield.
FOX45 obtained the court documents describing the prison phone calls from the case file for Julius Wilson, Jr. He has a preliminary hearing in January.