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09-09-04, 10:45 PM
Man Arrested in 1974 Baltimore Homicide
Associated Press Writer

Link: http://kevxml2adsl.verizon.net/_1_2N2KTO102ZDWG8E__vzn.dsl/apnws/story.htm?kcfg=apart&sin=D850FLJ00&qcat=usnews&ran=11619&passqi=&feed=ap&top=1

Good job to the booking officer....

BALTIMORE - A man wanted for the killing of a civilian police employee in a dispute over a stolen can of Spam has been arrested, nearly 30 years after the shooting.
Michael Hughes, 58, was arrested in Boston last weekend for allegedly stabbing a man he thought was gay. Police then learned Hughes was wanted for the slaying of 40-year-old McKinley Johnson.

Johnson, who worked in the police department motor pool, was killed in 1974 on Christmas Eve. He was giving away homemade Christmas baskets inside a Baltimore bar, something he did every Christmas, said his former girlfriend, Helen Fogg, now 62.

When a man stole a can of Spam out of one of the baskets, Johnson confronted him and was shot.

"That's what made it so bad, him dying on Christmas," said Fogg, the mother of Johnson's 35-year-old son. "I was devastated. I was depressed for quite a while. I couldn't believe someone would take his life over something as stupid as a can of Spam."

Hughes was arrested in Boston after he allegedly used a small knife to cut a man he believed was gay, according to a spokesman for the transit police union. The victim wasn't seriously hurt.

Police in Boston said Hughes had been arrested many times since 1974, including several times in Boston. But those arrests predated a national fingerprint-matching system, and Hughes had used at least three aliases in that city.

After Hughes' latest arrest, the booking officer discovered the aliases and matched Hughes' fingerprints to the homicide.

"He went the extra mile, and his alertness paid off," Boston transit police Lt. Sal Venturelli said.

Baltimore police declined to answer specific questions about Hughes' case, including whether he had an attorney, but several detectives had been searching for Hughes since 1974.

"I'm definitely relieved that it's come to an end," Detective Anthony Lansey said. "It's a good case. It still has a lot of life. I hope it comes to a good resolution."

At the time of his arrest, Hughes was working as a drug counselor at a Boston homeless shelter.

Hughes' brother, Larry, who lives a few blocks from the site of the Baltimore slaying, said his brother acted in self-defense.

He said Johnson followed Michael Hughes outside with a knife. "He came to our house and said, 'I shot somebody' and 'You will never see me again,'" Larry Hughes said. "He's always said it was self-defense."

Larry Hughes said he felt "a sense of relief" after learning of his brother's arrest. "I'm certainly glad that he's alive and that the incident is over."

He said his brother was "a nice, studious, relatively quiet person. I'm quite sure that his character hasn't changed."

09-09-04, 10:50 PM
Good collar !