One of the two men charged with robbing and shooting an off-duty Secret Service Officer was sentenced to 23 1/2 years in jail for murder.
Charles Sims pleaded guilty to second-degree murder while armed and armed robbery for shooting Arthur Baldwin last December as part of a plea deal. In addition to the murder sentence, Sims was sentenced to six years in prison for the armed robbery charge.
Maurice Bellamy was also arrested and charged with Baldwin’s murder. Bellamy is awaiting a trial, set to begin in April. Bellamy, 17, is also awaiting a trial on murder charges for allegedly shooting a 15-year-old on a metro platform.
According to the Washington Post, Baldwin had been on leave from the Secret Service for charges stemming from a domestic incident.
Interviews with witnesses included in the warrant affidavit for Bellamy and Sims’ arrest suggest Baldwin’s murder was the result of a robbery gone awry.
According to witness reports, three black men, later identified as Sims and Bellamy, approached Baldwin’s gray Nissan Altima on December 15 of last year. A person who accompanied Sims and Bellamy, said a fourth person told the three of them to rob Baldwin, alleging the suspended secret service agent was in the area to buy a large quantity of drugs from a known dealer in the area. In the documents, police say their investigation led them to believe Baldwin was in the area to visit a friend, not to purchase drugs. The three men were driven to the scene by the man giving the instruction. The third man, who is not named in the document, said Sims and Bellamy were armed with pistols. This account was consistent with other witness interviews, and the autopsy report which concluded Baldwin died after being shot five times by at least two different pistols, according to the documents.
According to Sims’ and Bellamy’s companion, Bellamy knocked on Baldwin’s passenger side window, and “asked him what time it was and then pointed a .38 caliber pistol at him.” Sims opened the driver side door, while the third person rifled through the trunk. According to that witness, Baldwin tried to get out of the car, and pushed Bellamy. Bellamy then shot him. Sims, standing on the passenger side, also shot the victim. Baldwin’s wallet and iPad were taken, but no money drugs or weapons were found, the witness said. When Bellamy saw the wallet had no money in it, he tossed it down a street drain, according to that witness. When police responded to 911 calls of a shooting, they found Baldwin across the street from his car without his wallet, with a silver watch on the ground nearby.
The witness told police the identities of the two suspects, which matched the descriptions provided by other witnesses at the scene. An additional witness interviewed by police said they heard Bellamy and Sims speaking in their apartment hallway about reports of a secret service officer killed. Sims, according to that witness, said he had fired at Baldwin during the course of a robbery. This witness said the fourth man, who drove the three would-be robbers to the scene then tried to sell them Baldwin’s stolen iPad.
Another person interviewed by police said they were present for a conversation had by Sims and Bellamy about the murder, in which Sims asked Bellamy why he shot Baldwin. Sims said he did it because Baldwin tried to “buck on him and take his pistol.” When Bellamy asked the same question, Sims said Bellamy was struggling with Baldwin, and once Bellamy had already shot Baldwin, he couldn’t be left there alive.