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[columbia_heights] in today's Washington Post

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  • Tmosley123@aol.com
    Just in case y all missed today s article. The reporter refers to Columbia Heights. Actually it should read Adams Morgan. Todd Mosley
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 1, 2000
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      Just in case y'all missed today's article. The reporter refers to "Columbia
      Heights." Actually it should read "Adams Morgan."
      Todd Mosley
      ____________________________________________


      Man Charged in Deaths Is Called 'Troublesome'

      By Darryl Fears
      Washington Post Staff Writer
      Wednesday, March 1, 2000; Page B01


      Todd Mosley first noticed Carlton Blount, a wispy little guy, standing on a
      cement patch of gang turf in Columbia Heights, trying to look tough.

      It was four years ago, when drug trafficking by gangs in the Columbia Heights
      section of Northwest Washington was at its peak, and Mosley wanted to lure
      the baby-faced 15-year-old away from the notorious 1-7 Crew. The community
      activist tried talking, but that didn't work. So he put his money where his
      mouth is, telling Blount, "I'll bet you $200 that you'll get caught by the
      time you're 18."

      Blount won the wager, but as Mosley predicted, the troubled teenager who
      seemed to prefer running with gangs to school may be losing in life.

      Now 19, Blount is scheduled to face first-degree murder charges during a
      preliminary hearing at Superior Court today. A judge will determine whether
      Blount should stand trial for allegedly shooting two Wilson High School
      sweethearts in the most sensational murder case of the new year.

      District police say Blount and another man, 24-year-old Jermaine Antuon
      Johnson, rode through the city in Johnson's Ford Expedition, eventually
      tracking down students Natasha Marsh and Andre Wallace on the evening of Feb.
      8. Hours earlier, Blount lost a fight he had provoked with Wallace at a high
      school basketball game.

      Police said the two found the couple outside Marsh's house. Blount allegedly
      stepped out of the SUV and argued with Wallace and Marsh, then gunned down
      the two 17-year-olds at point-blank range, police said.

      In the outpouring of grief that followed, people learned there was much to
      admire in Marsh and Wallace. She was a quiet overachiever who had plans to
      attend West Virginia University in the fall. He was a gifted athlete who
      played nine positions on the football team and had numerous letters from
      coaches who wanted him to play for their universities.

      Yet little is known of Blount, a tall, lanky youngster who shunned authority
      by gambling at school and cursing teachers and was shunned in return, people
      who taught him said. His behavior got him expelled from two District high
      schools, Wilson and Cardozo.

      Blount never held a job, but, according to Mosley and others, he often
      carried rolls of dollars. He wore new brand-name sneakers every other week.
      He wore expensive clothing and drove his own car.

      Blount had no police record, save a few parking tickets. "Carlton had star
      quality and a smile that could get him out of anything," Mosley said. Mosley
      felt that quality could serve him well later in life, which is why the
      activist tried to steer him onto a safer path.

      Mosley tried to convince Blount to work for a community recycling program
      Mosley founded called Thumbs Up. He invited area youngsters to work so they
      could make money and be distracted from the gang, and many did. "I got tired
      of seeing 17-year-olds recruiting 13-year-olds" into the 1-7 Crew, Mosley
      said. "I figured that $40 of clean money was better than $400 of dirty money,
      and it worked. The kids liked the program."

      After months of trying, Mosley finally gave up on recruiting Blount. Then one
      day Blount surprised him by following another teenager into Thumbs Up. But
      Blount didn't last long. He backed out after learning that new members were
      expected to pick up litter before they could move to other tasks.

      "He thought he was too good for that," Mosley recalled. "His peers voted him
      out. He flashed that smile of his. He said, 'Let me slide, let me slide.'
      They weren't going to let him slide on this one."

      Mosley finally concluded that Blount was headed for trouble. "Every sign was
      there" for something bad to happen, Mosley said. "He seemed to have no sense
      of responsibility for his actions." Mosley also wondered whether his parents
      had prepared him well for life.

      Blount lived with his mother in a low-income high-rise in the 600 block of
      Edgewood Street NE. His mother didn't return calls to her home, and she did
      not respond to a call from the security phone downstairs.

      Instead, another woman picked up the telephone. She declined to give her name
      but identified herself as the mother of Blount's 11-month-old daughter,
      Kayla. She said she met her boyfriend three years ago when they were students
      at Cardozo. Blount "is not a bad person," she said. "He was always good to
      me."

      Blount spent lot of time at his grandmother's apartment in the 1600 block of
      Fuller Street NW, in Columbia Heights. Residents who share the building said
      they always feared Blount and his behavior, such as rolling dice with
      loud-talking friends in the apartment building's marbled foyer and speeding
      his car down Fuller Street, where their children often walked. The
      grandmother, Shirley Blount, declined to comment.

      A man who identified himself only as Ali said he was one of the few people
      who would stand up to Blount. "I always called the cops," Ali said. "I have
      my cell phone. If you're scared of them, they will use your fear as an
      advantage. Carlton would walk around here with no shirt on. A tank top. No
      feelings."

      Blount also gambled in school, said Vernon Nelson, a physical education
      teacher at Wilson. "He was in my class," the teacher said. "He tried to be a
      tough guy, but he really wasn't," Nelson said. "He wore the most expensive
      coat, and when someone stole that coat, he had another one the next day.

      "Some kids are wannabes, and they're more unpredictable than the true thugs,"
      Nelson said. "He would curse some teachers out, all kinds of stuff. If you're
      a wannabe, there's no telling what you'll do to impress the true thugs."

      When he heard a description of the murder suspect on his car radio, Nelson
      said, "I immediately knew it was Carlton Blount."

      Wilson varsity football coach Horace Fleming called Blount "troublesome,"
      saying he was always out of class. "He couldn't do schools," Fleming said.
      "School meant going to classes, studying, doing your homework."

      Fleming wasn't surprised when Blount was kicked out of Wilson.

      But on his 19th birthday, Blount returned to Wilson with Jermaine Johnson to
      take in the basketball game against Cardozo. Sitting atop the bleachers, the
      two spotted Marsh and Wallace, who were seated maybe seven rows below, and
      started shouting insults.

      Finally, Wallace got up, stepped up the rows and sat next to Blount. Words
      were exchanged, and Blount "stole Andre in the face," said Wallace's mother,
      Laura, using District slang that means Wallace got sucker-punched. Many
      people who saw the fight say that's what happened.

      What happened next, said Kenneth Dickerson, Wilson's dean of students who saw
      the fight on videotape, is something else that people agree on. "Andre beat
      the crap out of that boy."

      Blount, with his thin build, got muscled. The melee ended when Blount and
      Johnson were thrown out. The basketball game went on. The Cardozo
      cheerleaders, frightened into silence, stood and cheered again as their team
      dominated Wilson. But all was not normal.

      "I had a terrible feeling that night," said Fleming, Wallace's football
      coach, who was at the game and watched the fight. "The last thing I told him
      was to keep his head up. I specifically told him that to say, 'Watch your
      back.' I had a feeling something was going to happen, and something did."

      Katie Davis, an activist who organized a basketball tournament that Blount
      played in, wondered whether she could have done more to turn him from the
      path he walked.

      "I'm saying what didn't we do? What am I not doing with my kids now to make
      them reconsider this way of life?" she said. "I don't think most of these
      kids like the life, the life of violence and drugs and being in a gang. I
      don't think we've found a way to draw the line, to keep them close."

      Mosley said he did all he could and now is turning to God to help Blount.
      "I'm thinking about him because I'm worried about his soul," Mosley said.
      "And I'm also worried about how other prisoners will treat him, if he's
      guilty. I'm worried about the next 30 years of his life."
    • Caroline Polk
      I wish Washington Post reporters would learn where the District neighborhoods are. 16th and Fuller is definitely Adams-Morgan. ... From: Tmosley123@aol.com
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 1, 2000
      • 0 Attachment
        I wish Washington Post reporters would learn where the District
        neighborhoods are. 16th and Fuller is definitely Adams-Morgan.

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Tmosley123@... <Tmosley123@...>
        To: columbia_heights@egroups.com <columbia_heights@egroups.com>
        Date: Wednesday, March 01, 2000 12:31 PM
        Subject: [columbia_heights] in today's Washington Post


        >
        >Just in case y'all missed today's article. The reporter refers to "Columbia
        >Heights." Actually it should read "Adams Morgan."
        >Todd Mosley
        >____________________________________________
        >
        >
        >Man Charged in Deaths Is Called 'Troublesome'
        >
        >By Darryl Fears
        >Washington Post Staff Writer
        >Wednesday, March 1, 2000; Page B01
        >
        >
        >Todd Mosley first noticed Carlton Blount, a wispy little guy, standing on a
        >cement patch of gang turf in Columbia Heights, trying to look tough.
        >
        >It was four years ago, when drug trafficking by gangs in the Columbia
        Heights
        >section of Northwest Washington was at its peak, and Mosley wanted to lure
        >the baby-faced 15-year-old away from the notorious 1-7 Crew. The community
        >activist tried talking, but that didn't work. So he put his money where his
        >mouth is, telling Blount, "I'll bet you $200 that you'll get caught by the
        >time you're 18."
        >
        >Blount won the wager, but as Mosley predicted, the troubled teenager who
        >seemed to prefer running with gangs to school may be losing in life.
        >
        >Now 19, Blount is scheduled to face first-degree murder charges during a
        >preliminary hearing at Superior Court today. A judge will determine whether
        >Blount should stand trial for allegedly shooting two Wilson High School
        >sweethearts in the most sensational murder case of the new year.
        >
        >District police say Blount and another man, 24-year-old Jermaine Antuon
        >Johnson, rode through the city in Johnson's Ford Expedition, eventually
        >tracking down students Natasha Marsh and Andre Wallace on the evening of
        Feb.
        >8. Hours earlier, Blount lost a fight he had provoked with Wallace at a
        high
        >school basketball game.
        >
        >Police said the two found the couple outside Marsh's house. Blount
        allegedly
        >stepped out of the SUV and argued with Wallace and Marsh, then gunned down
        >the two 17-year-olds at point-blank range, police said.
        >
        >In the outpouring of grief that followed, people learned there was much to
        >admire in Marsh and Wallace. She was a quiet overachiever who had plans to
        >attend West Virginia University in the fall. He was a gifted athlete who
        >played nine positions on the football team and had numerous letters from
        >coaches who wanted him to play for their universities.
        >
        >Yet little is known of Blount, a tall, lanky youngster who shunned
        authority
        >by gambling at school and cursing teachers and was shunned in return,
        people
        >who taught him said. His behavior got him expelled from two District high
        >schools, Wilson and Cardozo.
        >
        >Blount never held a job, but, according to Mosley and others, he often
        >carried rolls of dollars. He wore new brand-name sneakers every other week.
        >He wore expensive clothing and drove his own car.
        >
        >Blount had no police record, save a few parking tickets. "Carlton had star
        >quality and a smile that could get him out of anything," Mosley said.
        Mosley
        >felt that quality could serve him well later in life, which is why the
        >activist tried to steer him onto a safer path.
        >
        >Mosley tried to convince Blount to work for a community recycling program
        >Mosley founded called Thumbs Up. He invited area youngsters to work so they
        >could make money and be distracted from the gang, and many did. "I got
        tired
        >of seeing 17-year-olds recruiting 13-year-olds" into the 1-7 Crew, Mosley
        >said. "I figured that $40 of clean money was better than $400 of dirty
        money,
        >and it worked. The kids liked the program."
        >
        >After months of trying, Mosley finally gave up on recruiting Blount. Then
        one
        >day Blount surprised him by following another teenager into Thumbs Up. But
        >Blount didn't last long. He backed out after learning that new members were
        >expected to pick up litter before they could move to other tasks.
        >
        >"He thought he was too good for that," Mosley recalled. "His peers voted
        him
        >out. He flashed that smile of his. He said, 'Let me slide, let me slide.'
        >They weren't going to let him slide on this one."
        >
        >Mosley finally concluded that Blount was headed for trouble. "Every sign
        was
        >there" for something bad to happen, Mosley said. "He seemed to have no
        sense
        >of responsibility for his actions." Mosley also wondered whether his
        parents
        >had prepared him well for life.
        >
        >Blount lived with his mother in a low-income high-rise in the 600 block of
        >Edgewood Street NE. His mother didn't return calls to her home, and she did
        >not respond to a call from the security phone downstairs.
        >
        >Instead, another woman picked up the telephone. She declined to give her
        name
        >but identified herself as the mother of Blount's 11-month-old daughter,
        >Kayla. She said she met her boyfriend three years ago when they were
        students
        >at Cardozo. Blount "is not a bad person," she said. "He was always good to
        >me."
        >
        >Blount spent lot of time at his grandmother's apartment in the 1600 block
        of
        >Fuller Street NW, in Columbia Heights. Residents who share the building
        said
        >they always feared Blount and his behavior, such as rolling dice with
        >loud-talking friends in the apartment building's marbled foyer and speeding
        >his car down Fuller Street, where their children often walked. The
        >grandmother, Shirley Blount, declined to comment.
        >
        >A man who identified himself only as Ali said he was one of the few people
        >who would stand up to Blount. "I always called the cops," Ali said. "I have
        >my cell phone. If you're scared of them, they will use your fear as an
        >advantage. Carlton would walk around here with no shirt on. A tank top. No
        >feelings."
        >
        >Blount also gambled in school, said Vernon Nelson, a physical education
        >teacher at Wilson. "He was in my class," the teacher said. "He tried to be
        a
        >tough guy, but he really wasn't," Nelson said. "He wore the most expensive
        >coat, and when someone stole that coat, he had another one the next day.
        >
        >"Some kids are wannabes, and they're more unpredictable than the true
        thugs,"
        >Nelson said. "He would curse some teachers out, all kinds of stuff. If
        you're
        >a wannabe, there's no telling what you'll do to impress the true thugs."
        >
        >When he heard a description of the murder suspect on his car radio, Nelson
        >said, "I immediately knew it was Carlton Blount."
        >
        >Wilson varsity football coach Horace Fleming called Blount "troublesome,"
        >saying he was always out of class. "He couldn't do schools," Fleming said.
        >"School meant going to classes, studying, doing your homework."
        >
        >Fleming wasn't surprised when Blount was kicked out of Wilson.
        >
        >But on his 19th birthday, Blount returned to Wilson with Jermaine Johnson
        to
        >take in the basketball game against Cardozo. Sitting atop the bleachers,
        the
        >two spotted Marsh and Wallace, who were seated maybe seven rows below, and
        >started shouting insults.
        >
        >Finally, Wallace got up, stepped up the rows and sat next to Blount. Words
        >were exchanged, and Blount "stole Andre in the face," said Wallace's
        mother,
        >Laura, using District slang that means Wallace got sucker-punched. Many
        >people who saw the fight say that's what happened.
        >
        >What happened next, said Kenneth Dickerson, Wilson's dean of students who
        saw
        >the fight on videotape, is something else that people agree on. "Andre beat
        >the crap out of that boy."
        >
        >Blount, with his thin build, got muscled. The melee ended when Blount and
        >Johnson were thrown out. The basketball game went on. The Cardozo
        >cheerleaders, frightened into silence, stood and cheered again as their
        team
        >dominated Wilson. But all was not normal.
        >
        >"I had a terrible feeling that night," said Fleming, Wallace's football
        >coach, who was at the game and watched the fight. "The last thing I told
        him
        >was to keep his head up. I specifically told him that to say, 'Watch your
        >back.' I had a feeling something was going to happen, and something did."
        >
        >Katie Davis, an activist who organized a basketball tournament that Blount
        >played in, wondered whether she could have done more to turn him from the
        >path he walked.
        >
        >"I'm saying what didn't we do? What am I not doing with my kids now to make
        >them reconsider this way of life?" she said. "I don't think most of these
        >kids like the life, the life of violence and drugs and being in a gang. I
        >don't think we've found a way to draw the line, to keep them close."
        >
        >Mosley said he did all he could and now is turning to God to help Blount.
        >"I'm thinking about him because I'm worried about his soul," Mosley said.
        >"And I'm also worried about how other prisoners will treat him, if he's
        >guilty. I'm worried about the next 30 years of his life."
        >
        >
        >
        >------------------------------------------------------------------------
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      • Tania
        Todd-- Thanks for posting the article-- I don t get to see much of the Post out here. I actually remember Carlton Blount-- he came to a few of my basketball
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 1, 2000
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          Todd--
          Thanks for posting the article-- I don't get to see
          much of the Post out here. I actually remember Carlton
          Blount-- he came to a few of my basketball practice
          sessions and was friends with a few of my guys who
          live over near you in Adams-Morgan.

          Can you keep me updated on what happens?

          Tania

          =====
          Truth is truth 'til the end of reckoning-- Shakespeare
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