Evidence from an unrelated burglary led Anne Arundel County Police to charge a teenager and a man from Fort Meade Wednesday in the murder of a cab driver who had been working to turn his life around.
Police have charged Trevor Allen Snead, 17, of 9830 Sodus Manor Place in Faulkner and Michael Juvan Wallace, 23, of 2958 2nd Army Drive, Unit B, Fort Meade in the murder and robbery of Benjamin Kirby Jr. Snead has been charged as an adult.
Kirby, 41, an Annapolis cab driver, was killed on March 12 in the area of Honeysuckle Lane near Generals Highway in Crownsville. Police found Kirby’s minivan cab unoccupied at that location, its door left open with signs of an apparent struggle inside. Officers searched the area on foot and discovered Kirby’s body with what police referred to as "upper body trauma."
While the homicide investigation was ongoing, the Anne Arundel County Police Department responded on March 14 to a burglary in the 700 block of Governor Bridge Road. Inside the residence officers found Snead, who was charged with first-degree burglary and related charges.
A truck found by officers at the scene of the burglary was allegedly stolen by Snead from Charles County. Detectives executed a search warrant on the truck and found multiple pieces of evidence linking Snead to the Kirby homicide, police said.
The evidence included a pair of pants in the truck that had apparent bloodstains on them; investigators determined the blood on the pants was that of Kirby. Rounds of .45 caliber ammunition in the truck was consistent with what was recovered from the homicide crime scene. Several latent prints from the driver’s door of Kirby’s taxi matched Snead, police said.
On March 19, homicide detectives obtained an arrest warrant charging Snead with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, armed robbery, firearm use/felony violent crime, and handgun on a person in the Kirby homicide.
Snead was already in custody for the unrelated burglary, so detectives interviewed him about Kirby’s death. Authorities say Snead admitted his involvement in the murder and robbery of Kirby, as well as his associate, Michael Juvan Wallace, 23, of the 2900 block 2nd Army Drive in Fort Meade.
Police allege that after leaving the scene of the murder, Snead and Wallace fled on foot and went to a business on Defense Highway. Surveillance footage from the business showed the pair entering the establishment. Wallace was wearing clothing that is consistent with the clothing containing the blood of the victim and bought beverages for Snead and himself with apparent money taken from Kirby.
Homicide detectives secured an arrest warrant charging Wallace with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, robbery, conspiracy to commit robbery, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, firearm use/felony violent crime, handgun on a person and handgun in a vehicle.
Early this morning, homicide detectives, assisted by Army Criminal Investigation Division and their swat team, arrested Wallace without incident at his residence. He was interviewed by homicide detectives, and reportedly admitted to his role in the robbery and death of Kirby.
“This tragic case was solved quickly thanks the situational awareness of patrol officers and detectives,” said Anne Arundel County Police Chief Kevin Davis in a news release. “They observed evidence and passed this information along to our Criminal Investigation Division, who worked tirelessly to bring charges against these two suspects.”
Even with the arrests of Wallace and Snead, this investigation continues and police ask anyone with information on this case to call Detective Jovone Martelle at 410-222-3463 or Metro Crime Stoppers.
The victim’s father, Benjamin Kirby Sr., 71, told the Capital-Gazette earlier that he had purchased the cab for his son several months ago. The younger Kirby was released from a 14-year prison stint for narcotics two years ago and had been getting back on his feet, his father said.