Shooting suspects to be tried together

An Owings Mills man's request to be tried separately from two other suspects in the Randallstown High School shootings last spring was turned down yesterday, clearing the way for prosecutors to put the three men on trial together this fall.

Lawrence B. Rosenberg, an attorney for Antonio R. Jackson, 21, argued during a hearing in Baltimore County Circuit Court that because his client is not accused of firing a weapon, being tried alongside the other two men would unfairly sway jurors against Jackson.

"The defense is so contentious that I don't believe he could get a fair trial sitting next to these two co-defendants," said Rosenberg, who acknowledged to the judge that there was no legal basis for his request.

Jackson is accused of driving the black BMW in which he, co-defendant Tyrone Devon "Fat Boy" Brown, 23, of Baltimore and a third man fled after the shooting. Police also say that Jackson brought the handgun that was used in the shooting to the school in his car.

Prosecutor Stephen Bailey, a deputy state's attorney, told the judge yesterday that evidence will also show that Jackson handed the gun to Brown before the shooting started. Witnesses saw Brown fire shots over the top of the car into the crowd, according to court documents.

Baltimore County Circuit Judge Patrick Cavanaugh denied Jackson's request.

Later in the day, a lawyer for Matthew T. McCullough, 17, of Randallstown withdrew a similar motion to try his client separately. Police have said that witnesses saw McCullough fire the weapon, but his lawyer has said the teenager was pinned to the ground by another student when the shootings occurred.

Jackson and McCullough -- along with co-defendant Brown -- are accused in the May 7 shootings in the Randallstown High School parking lot after a charity basketball game. The three men were indicted on several counts of attempted first-degree murder, as well as conspiracy, assault and handgun charges and are scheduled to go on trial Nov. 10.

Four students were wounded in the gunfire, one seriously.

Charges against a fourth man, former Randallstown student Ronald P. Johnson, were dropped in June because of a lack of evidence. Johnson was in the BMW driven from the school by Jackson after the shooting, according to court records.