Nearly a year after the incident, the trial of an Edgewood man accused of a 2013 double shooting that left a 17-year-old boy dead and a now-19-year-old man seriously wounded began Friday in the Harford County Courthouse in downtown Bel Air.
Garfield Smith III, 22, of the 1600 block of Candlewood Court, appeared for trial with his attorneys Howard Greenberg and Michael Ambridge of the Office of the Public Defender.
Assistant State's Attorneys David Ryden and Trenna Manners appeared for the prosecution and Circuit Court Judge Stephen M. Waldron presided.
Ryden said the trial is scheduled to continue Monday and end by Feb. 4 at the latest.
The opening took place in a large second-floor courtroom in the historic Harford County Courthouse. Portraits of former Harford County judges and other notable residents adorned the walls of the ornate courtroom.
Smith, who was wearing a dark suit, striped tie and black, thick-framed glasses, sat with his attorneys on one end of an oval-shaped wooden table and the prosecutors sat on the other end.
The 12 jurors and four alternates were sworn in Friday; the 16 members included seven women and nine men. One man was black; the rest of the members of the jury were white.
Waldron informed the members of the jury of their duties and instructed them not to discuss the case outside the courtroom, even with each other. He also told them to avoid any media reports about the trial while it was taking place and to not make any comments about the case on social media sites.
Waldron stressed to the jury members that they decide the case, not the judge.
"You decide the case, but decide the case based on evidence," he said.
Waldron also told members of the jury not to conduct outside research on any facts presented during the trial.
"You must base your decision on evidence presented in this courtroom," the judge said.
Ryden gave opening statements for the prosecution and Greenberg made the opening statement for the defense.
Opening statements were followed by testimony from two Harford County Sheriff's deputies who responded to the shooting, aided the victims and collected the first pieces of evidence.
Smith has been in the Harford County Detention Center since Feb. 5, 2013, when he was arrested and charged with the first-degree murder of Michael Wayne Kearins, 17, of the 1900 block of Harewood Road in Edgewood, and the attempted first-degree murder of Christopher Thomas Cousins, who was listed as having the same address as Mr. Kearins.
He has also been charged with two counts of first-degree assault and six firearms-related offenses.
The double shooting took place the night of Jan. 31, 2013, at Cunion Field in Edgewood Recreational Park off Trimble Road.
Smith's Candlewood Court residence is part of a cluster of homes adjacent to the park, separated by a fence.
Cousins and Mr. Kearins, plus their associate Jevontay Singleton, 18, of Baltimore County, went to the park to purchase marijuana from a local drug dealer.