Thursday, December 11, 2003

Jurors deliberate in shooting downtown



By Sharon Coolidge
The Cincinnati Enquirer

As he was dying, Antonio Owens told police who killed him, prosecutors told jurors Wednesday.

"Anthony Baltimore shot me," were the last words Owens uttered after a May 2 shooting on Fountain Square that left him with a bullet wound to his torso. The 26-year-old Millvale man died two days later.

And that statement, Assistant Hamilton County Prosecutor Judith Mullen told jurors, was the most important piece of evidence they needed to convict Baltimore on a murder charge.

"It's like he's here and saying, 'Anthony Baltimore shot me,'" Mullen said. "It was given under reliable circumstances. ... He said it while under extreme stress and, second, he did it knowing he was dying."

But Baltimore's lawyer, David Dudley, said Owens was lying and listed at least six of Owens' previous convictions in the last eight years, including one for lying to police.

"(Owens) led a life of violence and guns and assaults," said the Los Angeles attorney.

"To believe that statement, you'd have to believe all of a sudden he got religion, changed and was telling the truth."

The jury will begin deliberating today. Prosecutors say Baltimore, Owens and others met on Fountain Square that night to talk about accusations that another man, Clifford Huff, had stolen money from Baltimore.

Owens and Baltimore argued, witnesses said, before the shooting.

A bullet shattered the window of Rock Bottom Brewery, a restaurant on the square.

Huff testified at the trial, but Dudley called his testimony unreliable. .

E-mail scoolidge@enquirer.com




TOP STORIES
N.Ky. soldier thwarts attack
Ohioans to get drug discount
Golden Buckeye and Best Rx can aid seniors
Early test scores please educators
2 UC programs are tops in U.S.

IN THE TRISTATE
Parking restrictions narrowed
Young critics get a kick from 'Charlie Brown'
Angel Flight gets local baby home
Lines long at flu shot locations as supply dips
Jurors deliberate in shooting downtown
Ohio House comes out against gay marriage
Concealed-carry bill nearer
Mason city employees collect gifts for needy
Antiterror team suggests spending
Flynt fighting to open new Hustler store in Lexington
School projects ahead of schedule
Local news briefs
Loveland seeks funds to build skate park
Lebanon asked to rezone Main
Neighborhood briefs
White House chat links lovers
Highway shooter not contacting authorities
Ohio moments
Owners must register pit bulls
Youths protest Taser buy
Public safety
Animal rights group seeks to outlaw rodeos
Lakota budget in progress
Workforce Academy ready for business
Author makes a mystery from her life on the river
Suspect in trucking firm rampage insists he's sane
Board seeks tax increase
Ohio schools chief in Hamilton today

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
Crowley: 3 N.Ky. companies helped GOP group batter Chandler
Bronson: Why didn't the cops just hypnotize him?
Good Things Happening

LIVES REMEMBERED
John Crane, 73, watercolorist and arts leader
Michael Cassady, soccer coach, dad

KENTUCKY STORIES
Davis, GOP fund-raiser nets $32K
Independence library hunts for larger home
St. Pius X parish invests in school