Testimony from detectives and deputies, who investigated reports of shots being fired at a house, which prosecutors say was the motive for a 2013 Edgewood deadly shooting 10 days later – leaving one dead and another fighting for his life – reveal the defendant did not reside at the address.
The defendant, Garfield Smith III, 22, is charged with first-degree murder and related crimes in the Jan. 31, 2013 shooting death of Michael Wayne Kearins, 17, and the wounding of Christopher Cousins, 19.
Deputy Roland Gittings, of the Harford County Sheriff's Office, was called to the witness stand Tuesday afternoon by prosecutors.
Gittings, a 12-year veteran of the force, said he responded to "shots fired," at a home in the 1600 block of Candlewood Court on Jan. 21, 2013, which was 10 days before the murder, shooting in Cunion Park. He said he was the first officer on the scene.
"I saw the house was shot up," Gittings said. "There were bullet holes through the windows on the first and second floor."
Gittings said he counted 11 bullets: eight on the first floor and three on the second floor. The officer testified that two people were in the residence when he got there, Smith and another witness, Shaquae Edwards.
"[Smith] said it was his brother's house, but said his brother wasn't there," Gittings told the jury during his testimony.
Gittings said he took down the information for all victims involved in the shooting: Smith, Edwards and Steven Dorsey, Smith's brother, who leases the residence and came shortly after officers arrived on the scene.
During cross-examination, Howard Greenberg, defense attorney for Smith, questioned the officer about the addresses listed for the victims of the house shooting. Gittings said while Dorsey's address was listed in the 1600 block of Candlewood Court, Smith listed his address in the 500 block of Magnolia Ridge Dr. in Joppa.
Another officer with the Harford County Sheriff's Office, Det. John Aksomitus testified that during the investigation of the house shooting, Smith said he believed Alton Cumbo was the person responsible for shooting at the residence.
Smith said Cumbo "made death threats against him for being disrespectful," Aksomitus testified.
Prosecutors called Deputy Andrew Sampson, who patrols the southern district for the Sheriff's Office, to the stand.
Sampson said that minutes after the Jan. 21, 2013 house shooting, he stopped four individuals on the street who matched a description given by dispatchers as the possible shooters.
The four suspects were Alton Cumbo, Donald Williams, Devontae Perry and Antony Powell. Sampson said he did not know at the time that Smith had named Cumbo as a possible suspect.
Cumbo was found wearing a Miami Heat snow hat with a red ball on top, Sampson said.
Sampson said he took down the names, ages, addresses and other pertinent information from the suspects and let them go. He said he stopped Cumbo again minutes later when he learned Smith had named him as a possible suspect, but eventually let him go.
The deputy said he did not arrest Cumbo or any of the other suspects in the house shooting.
DNA evidence not a match
DNA found on a pistol that police say was used to commit a 2013 Edgewood murder could not be conclusively matched to the man who is on trial for the crime, a State Police Crime Laboratory expert testified Monday.