A Belcamp man charged with shooting his brother after an argument was ordered to be released on his own recognizance after a Monday bail review hearing.
Montierre Q. Echols, 36, of the 4400 block of Perkins Place, is charged with attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, using a firearm in a crime of violence, possessing a loaded handgun and assault in the first- and second-degree, according to documents filed in Harford County District Court.
Echols allegedly shot his brother in the abdomen Friday night after an argument and tossed the gun out of the rear of his property, according to court documents. But his defense attorney, Katrina Smith, argued that the alleged shooting was a case of self-defense.
Echols had no prior convictions or failures to appear in court, Smith noted, and his brother, Alexander Enrique Lloyd, had mental health issues. She said Lloyd threatened members of his family and had broken furniture in Echols' home.
“This is a matter of self-defense; it is a matter that absolutely will go to trial,” she said.
Prosecutors argued that the seriousness of the charges were enough to warrant holding Echols without bond, saying he could be a danger to the community. Ultimately, Judge Mimi Cooper decided to release him on the condition that he does not possess weapons, has no contact with Lloyd and lives apart from him, among others.
Echols spoke little at the hearing, simply acknowledging a handful of his supporters who watched from the back of the courtroom. Before Cooper ordered him to be released, Echols' girlfriend sobbed quietly. She is expecting a son with Echols, and the due-date was Monday, Smith told the judge.
“I just want to tell everybody I love them and appreciate them,” Echols said through the video feed from the Harford County Detention Center.
Echols' family declined to comment after the hearing.
Harford County sheriff’s deputies responded to the 4400 block of Perkins Place in Belcamp at around 10:30 p.m. Friday after multiple callers reported screaming, fighting and gunshots in front of home on the street, according to the statement of charges.
When deputies arrived, they did not find anyone with gunshot wounds, but found a live shotgun shell lying directly in front of the home.
While the deputies were at the address, Echols came outside and told them that nothing was wrong, but less than 20 minutes later, they learned that Lloyd — Echols' brother — had been driven in a white Ford to the University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in Bel Air with a gunshot wound, according to the documents.
Deputies found the Ford in the emergency room parking lot and spoke to its driver, Tynese Echols. Initially, she told them that Lloyd had flagged down her car at random and asked to drive him to the hospital, but she later admitted that she was his mother, the documents state.
She told police she had initially lied because “she did not wish to be involved in the current situation,” the documents state.
After consenting to a search of her vehicle, detectives found a sawed-off shotgun along with live shells, according to the documents.
Lloyd initially told deputies that he had been shot by an unknown man in Baltimore, but after further discussion told them an unknown man shot him at his brother’s home on Perkins Place. Tynese Echols further told deputies she heard Lloyd say his brother shot him.
A visual inspection of the wound, documents state, showed it was not made with a shotgun.
Shortly after the shooting, Montierre Echols was taken to Upper Chesapeake for treatment of a dislocated left shoulder — an injury he reportedly sustained while playing basketball, the documents state.
Montierre Echols later told deputies that he shot Lloyd with a .38-caliber revolver “during a fight and subsequent argument,” the documents state. The documents do not specify what the fight was over. He then, according to the documents, threw the gun out the rear door to his home.
Sheriff’s office spokesperson Cristie Hopkins said the incident and motive are still under investigation and declined to answer specific questions about what transpired, or about the shotgun and pistol mentioned in charging documents.
Lloyd’s condition is non-life-threatening, Hopkins said.