Office of the State's Attorney for Baltimore City

For Immediate Release: 10/26/17

South Baltimore—Steven Stawara and Derrick Carter both pled guilty this week for their participation in the murder and burglary in 2016 of 83 year old James Herget, who community members hailed the “Mayor of Brooklyn”. Derrick Carter, 47 was convicted of First Degree Felony Murder. His co-defendant, Steven Stawara, 25, pled guilty to Accessory after the fact of murder and First Degree Burglary. Assistant State’s Attorney (ASA) Elizabeth Stock prosecuted the case.

On the morning of December 16th, 2016, officers arrived at the scene in the 400 block for Cambria St. Police responded after a family member—who stopped by the victims’ home to check in on him—discovered his body lying on his living room floor, amidst ransacked rooms and ravaged drawers and jewelry boxes. It was apparent that the victim had suffered from multiple stab wounds and other injuries.

The Crime lab processed scene, finding a trail of bloody footprints leaving the steps of the home. Homicide Detectives followed the prints to a row house a few doors down where both Stawara and Cater were staying. Detectives called for a K-9 Unit that confirmed that the scent of the victim’s blood was also found on the premises.

Both Carter and Stawara were immediately apprehended after police spotted them standing outside, amongst a crowd of concerned community members who were inquiring about the investigation. Carter’s clothing and shoes were collected for testing after blood was observed on the bottom of shoes whose tread also matched the shoeprints at the crime scene. Further observations revealed scratch-marking and other injuries on Cart’s body that were consistent with a struggle. Investigators also recovered several items of jewelry—believed to belong to the victim—after a sweep of the suspect’s home.

Stawara, who agreed to speak to detectives, admitted to arriving at the crime scene after the murder had taken place. He confessed to stealing items of value from the victim’s s home and selling them to a near-by pawn shop. Stawara also indicated to police that Derrick Carter murdered the victim and provided police with location of Carter’s knife and bloody clothes.

Detectives confirmed Stawara did sell several items of Jewelry at a local pawn shop and the knife and bloody clothing were also recovered from a storm drain in 400 block of Franklin S. Carter, who initially invoked his Miranda rights, later initiated conversation during collection of his DNA evidence and admitted to stabbing the victim.

“This was an outrageous and heinous crime perpetrated by individuals with no code of ethics against a vulnerable 83-yr old, well respected community member. This sort of violence is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated without accountability,” said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “My hope is that Mr. Herget’s loved ones and the greater Brooklyn community will find closure from today’s results.”

Stawara is facing 30 years for first degree Burglary and for being an accessory after the fact of murder while the state seeks a Life sentence for Carter who was convicted of First Degree Felony Murder.

Sentencing for both has been scheduled for January 11, 2018.