There was no lack of errors in the case against Eric D. Stennett - and at least a few jurors thought they detected something worse.
At 8:04 that night, a tan Ford Bronco with darkly tinted windows stopped in front of an abandoned house at 2028 Wilkens Ave. in Southwest Baltimore near Carroll Park. On the steps, two men sat talking and drinking beer with their backs to the boarded-up front door.
The driver of the Bronco, a thin, black male, got out, took a few steps toward the curb, pulled a heavy, chrome-plated handgun and opened fire.
As the intended victims ran for cover, the gun spit sparks and smoke and rained empty brass shell casings in the middle of the street.
Four police officers, members of a crime-suppression detail who happened to be nearby in an unmarked car, turned toward the sound of the gunfire in time to see the shooter blaze away his last few rounds of ammunition before walking back to the Bronco.
The officers whipped in behind the truck. But as they piled out of their car to arrest the gunman, the Bronco bolted.
Within seconds, police radios all over West Baltimore were crackling with a description of the tan Ford truck and its heavily armed driver, and squad cars began converging on a wedge-shaped grid north of the park known as Sector 2.
Sucking a growing procession of cruisers along in its wake, the Bronco tore through a red light, narrowly missed a passing car and barreled across a grass median on Martin Luther King Boulevard before veering west onto Lombard Street.
One officer glanced at his speedometer: 80 miles an hour.
"He's pulling away from us like we're standing still," he told his partner.
Seconds later, two senior officers - a sergeant and a lieutenant - rolled into position on a cross street a few blocks away, timing their next move to the location reports pouring in over their radio. When the Bronco was a block away, Sgt. David Wimmer gunned his patrol car left onto Lombard to take up a position in front of the approaching truck.
No sooner had Wimmer finished his turn than the Bronco shot past, still gathering speed. In a split second, it pulled away at 90 miles an hour ... 95 ... 100 ... 104.
In the seat next to Wimmer, Lt. Mary Eilerman suddenly got a sick feeling in her stomach. Two blocks ahead, she saw a disaster in the making.
At that moment, Officer Kevon Gavin, 27 - a six-year veteran of the force, with a wife and three small children - was pulling his 1995 Chevy Caprice cruiser into the intersection at Gilmor Street as if to block the road.
"He came around that corner in almost slow motion," Eilerman would later testify, then turned left onto Lombard, directly into the path of the truck.
In his car trailing the Bronco, Wimmer had time to see the emergency lights swirling on the roof of Gavin's car up ahead. He heard Gavin's siren and thought he saw the Bronco sideswipe a parked car as it raced toward Gilmor Street.
Then, in the blink of an eye, the Bronco rocketed into the left-front of Gavin's car and burst into flames, plowing the cruiser along Lombard in a maelstrom of shattered glass, sheered chrome, twisting steel and burning rubber.