A Baltimore jury this week found a man guilty of murder in the fatal shooting of his girlfriend, whose body was wrapped in a blanket and discarded in Druid Hill Park more than two years ago.
In a news release Friday, Baltimore State’s Attorney Ivan Bates announced the guilty verdict in the 2021 killing of 30-year-old Breonna Rogers, among several wins by his prosecutors in court this week.
Bates, a Democrat, touted the convictions and sentences as “a direct product of my administration’s work to rebuild the office and restore confidence in the prosecutors fighting in court daily on behalf of city residents.”
Major Kinchen, 33, was convicted of the charges of second-degree murder and two firearms offenses in Rogers’ death, according to the news release. The jury acquitted Kinchen of premeditated murder.
At sentencing June 30, Bates’ office said, Kinchen faces up to 75 years in prison. His attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.
Rogers’ body was discovered in the park on Jan. 19, 2021. Police said around that time an autopsy revealed she had been shot in the neck.
Detectives found blood outside Rogers’ last known residence about a week later, using the grisly discovery as the basis to enter the apartment under “exigent circumstances,” according to charging documents. Police said they encountered her boyfriend, Kinchen, inside the apartment, and arrested him.
Police believed Rogers was shot in her car. Surveillance footage showed her and Kinchen leaving the apartment together, him leaving Druid Hill Park in her car and returning to the apartment without her, the charging documents say.
Bates’ office also provided an update in the cases of four men accused of participating in the 2019 fatal shooting of 21-year-old Donnell Brockington.
Brockington, of Aberdeen, was gunned down in the 2600 block of McEldery Street, which is in the McEldery Park neighborhood of East Baltimore, around 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 13, 2019.
While medics took Brockington to the hospital, where he died, officers arrested four people at the shooting scene: Anthony Clark, Shemar Jerry, James Dunbar and William Thornton.
All four were charged with murder and tried together, on Dec. 6, 2022. The jury acquitted everyone but Thornton of murder.
A judge this week sentenced Dunbar, who is 22, to 20 years in prison for possession of an assault weapon and other firearms offenses, illegal gun possession and conspiracy to use a firearm in a crime of violence, according to the state’s attorney’s office news release. Jerry, who is 23, got 15 years in prison for illegal firearm possession and conspiracy.
Clark, 23, is scheduled to be sentenced in June on similar charges to Jerry.
Their attorneys either did not immediately respond to requests for comment, or could not be reached.
Sentencing for Thornton, 29, is set for Oct. 12. He was convicted of first-degree murder, conspiracy and firearms offenses. Thornton has filed a motion for a new trial. His attorney declined to comment.
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In another case, Bates’ office said, Nelson McNorton, 29, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the shooting death of Antonio Modica.
Modica was gunned down in the 1900 block of West Pratt Street on Oct. 10, 2019.
Online court records show McNorton was due in court Friday.
Bates’ office said a judge gave McNorton life in prison but suspended all but 25 years’ incarceration. That means McNorton could face the balance of his punishment if he violates his probation upon release.
McNorton’s attorney did not return a request for comment Friday.
In his statement, Bates attributed the convictions to his prosecutors’ “hard work and commitment to achieving justice for victims and their families.”
“I know that these outcomes cannot repair the damage done by these offenders,” Bates said, “but I hope it brings a measure of closure and healing to those involved.”