Essex man found suffering from gunshot wound in street

ShootingsJohns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center

An Essex man, who faces criminal charges relating to a May homicide where the body was left inside a burning truck, was shot in the back of the head early Friday morning, according to Baltimore County police.

Joseph Thorpe, 27, was found shortly after midnight Friday, lying in the middle of the street at Middle River Road and Compass Road, suffering from a gunshot wound, in addition to other traumatic injuries, according to a police statement.

Thorpe, of the unit block of Glenwood Road, was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center and was listed in critical condition, police said.

Detectives are investigating whether the shooting is related to a homicide that occurred in May, police spokeswoman Elise Armacost said.

Thorpe has open accessory and arson charges in the death of Daryl Maurice Augustus II on May 26. Augustus was found face down by firefighters in the rear seat in a burning 2005 Dodge Ram pickup near Mitchell Road and Bay Avenue in Essex.

Lennell Earl Ellis was charged a week later in Augustus' death, but detectives believe Thorpe helped him clean up the crime scene the day of the killing, charging documents show.

Detectives said Augustus had visited a woman with whom Ellis had been "romantically involved," earlier that day, the documents said. When the detectives went to question her at an apartment on Dunhaven Place in Nottingham, they could smell cleaning solution and saw what appeared to be a large blood stain in front of the apartment, charging documents said.

When police searched the apartment, they found stains that remained despite what appeared to be an effort to "clean up" and a Rug Doctor carpet cleaner.

Police found that Thorpe had rented the carpet cleaner at a Giant grocery store on Bel Air Road in White Marsh, the same day Augustus was found dead, the document said.

The Rug Doctor company traced the serial number of the carpet cleaner to the store, where detectives recovered the rental agreement, which had Thorpe's name and showed it had been rented the same day firefighters found Augustus' body in the burning truck.

Phone records show that Ellis called Thorpe numerous times the day of the killing, the document says.

Thorpe was indicted in July. His trial is scheduled for May 14.

Witness told detectives Ellis and Augustus had been at the Dunhaven Place apartment together and they had heard yelling, when Ellis followed Augustus out of the apartment.

Another witness told the detectives they saw Ellis hit Augustus in the neck, causing him to bleed profusely.

An autopsy showed that Augustus died by sharp force injuries.

Anyone with information about the Friday morning shooting is asked to call police at 410-307-2020.

jkanderson@baltsun.com

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