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Police: Man Charged in Stabbing Death of Woman at Baltimore Church

Baltimore police announced Thursday that they’ve charged a 62-year-old man in the killing of a grandmother at a church last month.

Police said the warrant apprehension task force took Manzie Smith Jr. into custody Wednesday and he was charged with first-degree murder and several other offenses in the death of Evelyn Player on Nov. 16. Smith was identified as a suspect in the case based on evidence collected on the scene, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said at a news conference.

Smith was taken into custody on the same day as the funeral for 69-year-old Player, a church sexton, who was found stabbed to death in a bathroom at Southern Baptist Church, an hour after police said she had let contractors into the building for church renovations. A day after the slaying Gov. Larry Hogan offered a $100,000 reward for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever was responsible for her death.

“As I have said before, and will say it again, those who commit violent crime in our city will be caught and they will be held accountable,” Harrison said. “While we are all affected by all murders, the fact that this one occurred in a house of worship made it more shocking to the conscience.”

Smith is being held without bail, police said. The case isn’t listed in online court records and it’s not clear if has an attorney.

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