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Councilman shares concerns with Acting Police Commissioner about murder suspect Jason Billingsley

Posted at 6:17 PM, Sep 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-29 18:17:46-04

BALTIMORE — Baltimore City Councilman Eric Costello was horrified to learn a woman was raped, and a couple lit on fire in their own home by a man who did maintenance for their building. He duct-taped and hand-cuffed them, and slashed the woman's neck. A child was also inside at the time.

"I can't stress enough the brutal nature of what occurred on the 800 block of Edmondson. It is so beyond depraved," Costello said.

Then, just a few days later, police say the same man murdered 26 year-old Pava LaPere in her Mount Vernon apartment building.

Both crimes happened in Costello's district.

"The concerns that I'm hearing out of Upton are very well-founded. I agree with them 100%."

The main concern is this: Baltimore police say they had a warrant for Billingsley after the Edmondson Avenue incident, and began tracking him the day after it happened, but didn't alert the public about him until after he allegedly murdered LaPere.

The public never saw his face or heard his name until six days later, 24 hours after he was announced as a suspect in LaPere's homicide case.

At a press conference, Acting Commissioner Richard Worley defended the decision.

"The first incident Edmondson Avenue was not a random act. Had it been a random act, we would have put out a flyer right away saying that this individual was on the loose, committing random acts. We know pretty much why he went to that house on Edmondson Avenue and why he committed those acts. He worked at that building, he was familiar with the victims."

"Hindsight is always 2020. If I would have known that he was going to go and kill someone we would have put the flyer up, but we had no indication that he was committing random acts," Worley continued.

Councilman Costello, who stood on the podium with the commissioner yesterday, wasn't satisfied with that response. He's meeting with Worley next week to discuss the decision.

"Folks deserve the right to know information like this as long as it's not jeopardizing an investigation."