Tuesday, August 01, 2006

An 11-year-old boy has been found slain on a golf course near his home, and a twice-convicted child sex offender was arrested in his death

Ben Nuckols:

Melvin L. Jones Jr., center, walks with a police escort to a van outside Baltimore City Police headquarters

An autopsy was being performed on the body of Irvin Harris to establish the cause of death.

Hours after finding the body, police arrested Melvin Jones Jr., 52, inside a downtown fast food restaurant after they got an anonymous tip that he was there. He was charged Monday night with first-degree murder and other crimes, according to Nicole Monroe, a police spokeswoman.

Col. Fred Bealefeld, the department's chief of detectives, described Jones as the Harris family's friend and said there was "every indication" that Irvin's mother knew about Jones' 2002 conviction for having sex with a teenage boy.

"I'm blaming myself right now," Irvin's mother, Shanda Harris, told WBAL-TV. "By trusting Melvin, now my son is gone."

Jones pleaded guilty to child sexual abuse in 1989 and served about seven months in prison, said Joseph Sviatko, a spokesman for the Baltimore state's attorney's office. He pleaded guilty in 2002 to a sex offense involving a 15-year-old boy and was sentenced to a year in prison, Sviatko said.

The victim in the 2002 case met Jones when he was walking home from school, and the two had sex several times over a period of about 18 months, according to court documents. Jones told police while being questioned "that he was a pedophile who needed help," the court documents state.

Jones registered as a sex offender after his 2002 conviction and was on probation, Sviatko said.

Irvin was last seen by his family Friday around noon, when he left for his summer job at a nearby grocery store, Moses said. His body was found before daybreak in a densely wooded section of the Clifton Park Golf Course, out of the sight of golfers.

Repeat Sex Offender Arrested for Killing 11 Year Old Boy


At 7:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think society needs protection from pedophiles more than they need help. Often it seems authorities do not take this literally enough.


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