Mistakes at public housing blamed in woman's murder

Eva Green was killed inside her apartment.

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by ALEX REED / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Alex: AReed@WCNC.com

WCNC.com

Posted on January 27, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 27 at 7:51 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The family of an elderly woman who was killed inside her apartment is suing the city of Charlotte, saying management at the public housing complex violated policy, causing her death.

The convicted killer in this case has a criminal past. An expert witness testified Wednesday that the man has spent time in jail for murder before and claims he hears voices telling him to harm himself and others.

James Baugh, former assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, says the man should never have been allowed to live in the public housing complex where he robbed and killed his elderly neighbor.
 
"The inability to provide a safe and secure environment caused the death of Eva Dunlap Green," Baugh said on the witness stand.

Baugh says the convicted killer, Kenneth Cyrus, "Should never have been allowed in the public housing community in the first place."

He says there is no record of a criminal background check ever being performed on Cyrus.

Baugh says he performed his own background check and found Cyrus "was convicted of three drug felonies in the state of Maryland."
 
Baugh says HUD policies would disqualify Cyrus from living at the Charlottetown Terrace Apartments, just a few doors away from the victim, 63-year-old Eva Green.
 
"I was afraid of him myself," said neighbor Diane Lance about Cyrus. "He was sneaky and he watched. He watched everybody."
 
Another tenant, Carl Henderson, said, "Most elderly males and females were afraid to get on the elevator with him."
 
Both neighbors testified in court that they complained to management several times about Cyrus, but nothing was done.

"They told me they were checking into it every time I asked," said Lance.

City attorneys haven't called any witnesses yet, but have questioned whether the law requires national criminal background checks for all HUD applicants.

The killer's wife is expected take the stand Thursday.

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