Teen shot by Baltimore Police in Shipley Hill faces assault and firearms charges

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The teen shot from behind by Baltimore Police earlier this month in Shipley Hill faces criminal charges including first-degree assault and was ordered held without bond Tuesday.

Baltimore District Judge Kent Boles, who decided against releasing the teen on home detention, said in court that the 17-year-old is charged with nine offenses, including first- and second-degree assault and a range of firearms crimes, such as use of a firearm in a crime of violence and possession by a minor.


Boles called it “tragic” that the teen was “injured in this matter,” but said it didn’t mitigate the danger he would pose to the community if released.

The 17-year-old, whose attorneys said is an 11th grader working on getting a driver’s permit and interested in a summer job, was shot May 11 during a foot pursuit by Officer Cedric Elleby. Body camera footage released May 16 showed Elleby shoot the teen from behind after he didn’t obey commands to drop a weapon and stop. Police said a firearm was recovered from the scene.


The teen’s mother, Kieria Franklin, cried out, “I love you, son,” after Boles announced his decision. She then left the courtroom in tears. Her son appeared virtually in court via a video feed.

The Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office declined to release charging documents in the case because the defendant is under age 18. The Baltimore Sun is not naming the teen because he’s a minor.

Attorneys from the Office of the Public Defender in court Tuesday pushed back against the police description of events. They argued that the officer provided “no specifics” about what “characteristics of an armed person” the teen presented prior to the foot pursuit. They also questioned the officer’s description that the teen “turned around,” despite video footage showing the teen had his back to the officer when he was shot.

One attorney called the first-degree assault charge “quite a stretch.” In Maryland law, first-degree assault is when a person intentionally causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to another person.

Chrysanthemum Desir, one of the public defenders, said the 17-year-old had been handcuffed to his hospital bed prior to being criminally charged and was at least once denied access to an attorney.

Desir requested he be released on home detention, in part because of his medical needs — the teen underwent surgery that removed a kidney and his spleen, and was hospitalized for roughly two weeks. She said staffing shortages would prevent proper care of the teen in custody.

Boles, in response, said the teen had a loaded firearm and “failed to obey” orders when he was confronted, calling him a “danger” to the community.

Desir added that attorneys would seek transfer of the teen’s case from adult to juvenile court. Those types of hearings are being scheduled three to five months out, Desir said.


“Police shootings warrant significant attention, especially where a child ends up in the hospital,” said Robert Linthicum, one of the teen’s attorneys, in a statement Tuesday. “The charges here do not fully align with the allegations and could be an effort to avoid or minimize scrutiny of the officers’ actions.”

In Maryland, teenagers as young as 14 can be automatically charged as adults. Teenagers who are 16 and 17 in particular are automatically charged as adults for some crimes, including first-degree assault and handgun violations.

After a bail review, preliminary hearing and arraignment for the teenager, a defense attorney can file a motion to transfer the case to juvenile court in a pre-trial hearing.

A bill unsuccessfully proposed in the Maryland General Assembly this year would have started cases involving minors in juvenile court and placed the burden on prosecutors to prove to a judge that a juvenile case should be moved to adult court.

Franklin, the 17-year-old’s mother, told The Baltimore Sun she was only allowed a single three-minute visit with her after he came out of surgery May 11 at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center. She said she wasn’t allowed to visit him again.

Franklin said her son was “comatose” and restrained to the bed when she saw him.


Then, Franklin said a detective called her May 13 and told her she could spend 15 minutes with her son, who was awake and speaking. When she arrived at the hospital, she said hospital security and police took her to the basement instead of her son’s room and told her she would not be permitted to see him.

“‘We’re not allowed to let you see your son, it’s hospital policy that anyone that’s being detained or arrested or under police custody cannot have visitors,’” Franklin said she was told.

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Franklin also said no one told her that her son had been released from the hospital. She found out when the teen later called her from a detention facility.

Franklin, a single mother of three kids responsible for the care of her elderly mother, said she has begun setting aside money for rent and electric bills to fund her son’s defense.

In a statement, Tiffani Washington, a spokesperson for University of Maryland Medical Center, said each of the center’s patients “receives the same world class standard of care.”

“We work closely with law enforcement agencies when caring for patients who are receiving medical care while in police custody. Under federal HIPAA law, we cannot disclose specific information about patients in our care,” Washington said in the statement.


Under the medical center’s policy, Washington said, the hospital shares discharge information for patients in police custody with law enforcement.

In response to questions about the family’s ability to visit the 17-year-old, a Baltimore Police spokesperson sent a link to the department’s policy on persons in police custody. It instructs officers to ensure the safety of a detainee who requires medical attention and to ensure he or she is “guarded at all times.” It also references a policy on detainees in hospital environments that police wrote is “currently being drafted.”

Baltimore Sun reporter Hannah Gaskill contributed to this article.