A Rhode Island man who previously lived in Harford County was ordered to be held without bond Monday in connection to a May 30 homicide in Edgewood.
Diantae Williams, 22, is charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder, conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, using a gun during a violent crime and first- and second-degree assault in connection to the fatal shooting of Christopher Markquell Smith.
Harford County sheriff’s deputies responded to the 600 block of Edgewood Road on May 30 at around 12:30 p.m., where they found Smith suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, according to documents filed in Harford County District Court. Smith was taken to Johns Hopkins Bayview where he was pronounced dead at 1:20 p.m.
Witnesses told police that a man wearing a blue do-rag had shot Smith, leaving .45-caliber shells casings in the area, according to the documents. Another man with long dreadlocks was with him.
Those two were later identified as Williams and Shamel Ferebee, although the documents did not specify which person matched those descriptions. The Harford County Sheriff’s Office’s media relations department did not provide clarification.
“Detectives are not releasing any further details of the investigation,” said Cristie Hopkins, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.
Williams was arrested July 7 in Rhode Island on a Maryland warrant for his alleged involvement in the shooting, and Ferebee was arrested July 1 in North Carolina. Ferebee had not yet been returned to Maryland as of Monday and remains in jail in North Carolina on local charges, Hopkins said.
Detectives reviewed video footage from the area and saw two men matching the witnesses’ description running though neighborhoods near the crime scene, the documents state. Home cameras last caught the two running on Thornberry Drive toward Sequoia Drive — about a mile away from the scene of the shooting. According to the documents, deputies believed the two were running toward an address on the 600 block of Haven Place where Williams lived.
Detectives also recovered video footage of the two standing in the vestibule of the Edgewood Library, the documents state. The library was closed, but the two were known to use the WiFi there. The library gave investigators MAC addresses, also known as hardware addresses, for two iPhones that used the library’s internet just before the shooting. Deputies later connected the two devices to Williams and Ferebee, according to the documents.
Police interviews with neighbors of the Haven Place address confirmed that multiple men were living there but moved out the day of the shooting, according to the documents. Neighbors also confirmed to deputies that Williams was living at the address.
Detectives searched the home and found “Tae” and “Shamel” listed on a chore chart on the refrigerator. The rest of the home was empty except for some trash bags on the side of the house. When investigators searched the bags, they found two spent .45 caliber casings and one .45-caliber projectile.
“A preliminary forensic examination revealed that the .45 casings found on the crime scene were fired from the same firearm as the casings found in the trash at [the 600 block of] Haven Place,” the documents state.
At Williams’ bail review hearing Monday, defense attorney Katrina Smith pointed out that forensic examination of bullets is more often expressed in terms of consistency or likelihood of a bullet being fired out of a particular gun. It was not as cut and dry as the document made it seem, she said.
“I do not think that will be enough evidence to convict someone of this crime,” she said.
Smith also alluded to anticipated identification issues in the case. The court documents do not specifically name either of the two arrested as the shooter. Smith requested Williams be allowed out on home detention.
Harford County District Court Judge David Carey said that, in light of the seriousness of the charges, Williams’ connections to other states and his out-of-state residency, he would be held without bond at the Harford County Detention Center.
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“Mr. Williams does represent a danger to the community and a risk of flight,” Carey said.