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Thursday, April 17, 2014 11:01 PM

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Cold Case: Police need help to solve homicide in Laurel Gambling Operation

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Published on: Thursday, December 12, 2013

By Jim Davis, Special to The Sentinel

Detectives from Prince George’s County Police Department’s homicide unit are seeking the communities help in solving a 2012 homicide in Laurel.

On November 20, 2012 , just before midnight, patrol units from Prince George’s County Police Department Beltsville’s district responded to the Villages at Montpelier apartment complex in the 11600 block of South Laurel Drive in Laurel for a reported shooting.

Police said James T. Cornell, 43, of Ellicott City was inside the apartment when three masked men knocked on the door around 11:45 p.m, someone cracked the door open and the three men forced their way in,” fatally shooting Cornell,” said Julie Parker, a Prince George’s County police spokeswoman.

According to Parker, the apartment was not a home, but the site of a “well-organized gambling operation” that ran illegal poker games.

“The men went to the apartment specifically with the intention of robbing someone,” Parker said.

On the night of the shooting, residents who lived in the building where the shooting occurred told the Sentinel they heard gunfire and a few minutes later they saw police officers running into the building.

“We need help from the community, If anyone can remember seeing someone or a car leaving the area they need to call us’ the smallest tip can be the biggest tip,” said Parker.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Prince George’s County Police Department’s Homicide Unit at (301) 772-4925.

Callers wishing to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or text “PGPD plus your message” to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to and submit a tip online.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014