A Baltimore City District Court judge on Monday ordered 24-year-old Markis Russell to remain in jail in connection to the killing of his roommate, Jeffrey Brooks Jr.

Brooks, 22, was found dead by police with a gunshot wound to his body in the back of a gas station in the 6800 block of Harford on Friday. Homicide detectives charged Russell the next day.

Judge Tameika Lunn held Russell on five charges including first-degree murder, second-degree murder and firearm use.

Russell and Brooks’ dispute was over money, according to charging documents.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Russell told officers the verbal altercation that turned physical started around 10:30 p.m on Wednesday, charging documents said. Russell removed Brooks’ body from the house they shared on the 3100 block of Mary Avenue, and attempted to clean up the crime scene, according to the charging documents.

Brooks’ family told police that his car was missing and he wasn’t answering his cellphone on Thursday.

During the initial investigation, Brooks’ father, Jeffery Brooks Sr., told police he saw Russell leaving the home with a wet vacuum on Thursday, the same day the family reported him missing. His son’s partner, who had access to the apartment, also told police the carpet was wet.

Russell later told police he had used the wet vacuum to clean up the apartment because of his dog, and that he and Brooks would be moving soon.

Homicide detectives also found that Russell had rented a U-Haul for about 3.5 hours on Friday.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Lunn acknowledged that Russell had no prior criminal history, but that “the nature of these charges are disturbing” and she considers Russell a flight risk.

Both Russell and Brooks were reservists in the the U.S. military.

The Baltimore Banner thanks its sponsors. Become one.

”Our hearts are broken on the devastating news about our son, nephew, brother — Jeffrey. We were hoping for a different outcome,” Brooks’ family wrote in a statement to The Baltimore Banner. “He was an incredible young man with so much life ahead of him. We hope that justice is served in this horrific act. We thank everyone for your prayers and ask for privacy at this time.”


This story has been updated with the correct spelling of Jeffrey Brooks Jr.’s name and the correct date a judge ordered Russell to remain in jail.

Penelope Blackwell is a Breaking News reporter with The Banner. Previously, she covered local government in Durham, NC, for The News & Observer. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Morgan State University and her master’s in journalism from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

More From The Banner