Warren Brown is a local Baltimore defense attorney who is one of the few "go to" local attorneys in the area. When my wife told me about this, all I could do is think irony.
A man who had just been shot drove a sport utility vehicle through a concrete wall and into the backyard pool of a well-known criminal defense attorney and died early yesterday in Northwest Baltimore, city police said.
The victim apparently lost consciousness as he sped away and crashed through a wall behind the Spanish-style home of Warren A. Brown in the 3000 block of N. Hilton St., according to police.
"This is unimaginable," said Brown, who has represented a number of high-profile clients over the years. "I feel almost protected from this type of thing. When it ends up in my pool, a dead body, it's reality smacking you in the face."
Brown noted that he has represented many people who have been charged with violent crimes, including murder.
"I deal with this from a distance," Brown said. "I feel like a referee on the field. I'm representing guys who commit acts such as the one that led to his death. But it never touched me."
I remember him running ads on the radio saying that people need to "stop the violence" because he is tired of seeing "bruthas" going through the system.
Jackson eventually stopped dancing to focus on her career as a loan officer, moving from one mortgage firm to another. In September 2004, she teamed with McCall, 46, to open Metropolitan. They advertised on gospel and R&B radio stations and other African American media outlets, promising to help homeowners with cash-flow and credit problems.
Veronica Savoy was two months behind in mortgage payments on her Waldorf home when she contacted Metropolitan in summer 2006.
She said the firm promised to keep her home from going into foreclosure and to get her a mortgage with a lower interest rate. She signed on. Now the deed is no longer in her name, and $100,000 in equity is gone, she said.
"I guess that's where the equity in my home went," Savoy said after hearing about Jackson's big day. "It went to her wedding."
Essentially, the company would enlist investors with strong credit as "straw buyers" who would take ownership of the houses. The original homeowners could live rent-free for a year and then buy back their homes at the end of the year.
But when the homes passed to the straw buyer, Metropolitan would borrow as much as possible against the value, effectively siphoning out the equity and increasing the cost of the house, according to the suit. The original owners were often unable to repurchase their property; some said they were unaware they were signing over their deeds.
By the end of summer 2006, Metropolitan had begun to lay off employees. It stopped airing ads. Duncan said he realized something was wrong when he returned to his office one October afternoon and found employees having a "shredding party." All the documents on his desk, he said, were missing.
The company shut down in December.
In May, Jackson and Fordham put their house on Glasgow Court, with its designer carpet and marble floors, on the market.
In early June, an "estate sale" sign went up: Beds, expensive lamps, jewelry, designer clothes, even a rack of fur coats were for sale, neighbors said.
Last month, the house went into foreclosure.