Roommate Fight Turns Deadly

A 47-year-old Baltimore County man has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his roommate shortly before midnight Thursday, police said Friday.

Calvin Fernanda Phair also faces first-degree assault charges and is being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center, police said.

Police found Elijah McKeith Smalls, 39, in cardiac arrest in the unit block of Walden Cypress Court. Smalls and his roommate had a verbal dispute that escalated to a physical fight, an initial police investigation determined. Phair allegedly grabbed some nearby electrical cords and strangled Smalls while the two wrestled on the ground.

Phair was performing CPR on Smalls when the Baltimore County EMS showed up, but neither were successful in reviving Smalls. Police said he was pronounced dead at the scene.

–Joseph Hockey

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