Westport Man Indicted for the Murder of a Federal Witness
Defendant Allegedly Obtained FBI Report Containing Victim’s Statements from a Criminal Defense Attorney
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Antonio Hall, a/k/a “Mack,” age 30, of Baltimore, Maryland, with the murder of federal witness Kareem Kelly Guest on September 20, 2009. Hall is also charged with using and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, specifically the murder of the federal witness; and with being a felon in possession of ammunition. The indictment was returned on December 2, 2010, and unsealed today after Hall’s arrest. Hall had an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore today and was detained, pending a hearing on December 7, 2010 at 1:45 p.m.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III.
“This case tragically highlights the risks that arise when sensitive information about witnesses in criminal cases is not protected,” said U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein. “Solving Kareem Guest’s murder has been at the top of our list since the day he was killed. This prosecution demonstrates our commitment to use every resource at our disposal to pursue criminals who attack or intimidate witnesses.”
According to the three count indictment and related court documents, Hall allegedly killed Guest in retaliation for Guest providing information to law enforcement as part of an investigation into federal drug trafficking and firearms violations in the Westport area of Baltimore. The substance of the FBI’s January 9, 2008, interview of Kareem Guest was detailed in a nine page typewritten FBI report that was disclosed to a defense attorney with the promise that it would not be further distributed. During the summer of 2009, individuals in Westport allegedly obtained copies of the FBI interview reports of Kareem Guest and several other individuals, which were then distributed and displayed to people throughout the Westport community. On September 20, 2009, at approximately 10:00 p.m., Kareem Guest was shot and killed on a walkway near the 2400 block of Maisel Court in Westport. Mr. Guest suffered numerous gunshot wounds to the head and body.
The ongoing investigation into the murder of Kareem Guest has also resulted in the indictment of Raine Zircon Curtis, age 30, of Baltimore, on May 25, 2010. Curtis is charged with perjury and obstruction of justice for making false statements before the federal grand jury and to federal investigators. Curtis has been detained since her arrest in April.
Hall faces a maximum sentence of death or life in prison for the murder of a federal witness. He also faces a maximum sentence of life in prison for using and discharging a gun during a crime of violence, and for being a felon in possession of ammunition.
The decision whether to seek the death penalty for the murder of Kareem Guest will be made by the Attorney General of the United States after carefully considering the defendant’s background and the circumstances of the crime.
An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI and Baltimore Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys John F. Purcell and Clinton J. Fuchs, who are prosecuting the case.