The man accused of killing three people in a 2017 workplace shooting in Edgewood is expected to testify in his own defense during his murder trial in Harford County Circuit Court, his attorney said Wednesday.
Attorneys for Radee Labeeb Prince will begin calling defense witnesses Thursday after the prosecution rested its case following three days of testimony, including that of a ballistics expert and a medical examiner on Wednesday.
Prince, 40, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder and two attendant firearms charges in connection to an October 2017 shooting at Advanced Granite Solutions.
Killed in the shooting were Bayarsaikhan Tudev, 53, of Virginia; Jose Hidalgo Romero, 34, of Aberdeen; and Enis Mrvoljak, 48, of Dundalk. Jose Roberto Flores Gillen of Edgewood, and Enoc Sosa of North East, were injured and taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. Both Gillen and Sosa testified earlier in the week.
Experts for the state testified Wednesday to the origin of shell casings found at the workshop after the shooting.
Stephen Deavy, a ballistics expert for the Delaware State Police, said he examined five shell casings and five projectiles. The casings, previous witnesses for the state testified, were found on the shop’s floor near the three people who were killed. One of the bullets was embedded in a wall after striking and exiting one of the people who was shot. The rest of the projectiles were extracted from the deceased and Sosa, who survived being hit in the head with a bullet, Deavy said.
Deavy examined the shells on the stand with a loupe — a small magnifying tool — and said he had examined them previously with a microscope, looking for marks the gun left on the projectiles. Per his analysis, he was unable to match any of the projectiles to the .380 pistol; he said the pistol’s poor construction left few tool marks on the bullets. But the shell casings left at the scene were all fired from the pistol that sat on the witness stand next to him, he concluded.
“The cartridge cases that I examined were discharged in this particular pistol,” he said.
Earlier in the trial, two special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' Baltimore office testified that they chased Prince on foot after they saw him on a sidewalk in Newark, Delaware. During that pursuit, one of the agents said he saw Prince pull the black .380-caliber gun from his left pocket and drop it on the ground.
Police recovered the weapon, but no fingerprints were recovered from it, detective Hugh Stepney of the Wilmington Police Department said. The dropped firearm had five cartridges in its magazine, and its safety was engaged when police found it. No round was chambered.
Defense attorney Marcus Jenkins seized on Deavy’s predecessor, former Delaware State Police forensics expert Carl Rone who was convicted of falsifying business records and theft in 2018 for submitting 79 timesheets for days he did not work in 2016 and 2017.
Jenkins cast doubt on Rone’s work and asked if Deavy — who said he has been in court as a ballistics expert approximately 175 times — has ever followed the act of someone who was convicted. Deavy said he had not.
Assistant State’s Attorney Timothy Doory, on redirect, clarified that Deavy was brought on to the Delaware State Police ballistics team to re-examine the work.
“Is it fair to say you were brought in to clean up the mess after [Rone] was discharged,” Doory asked. “Yes,” Deavy responded.
Jenkins also questioned Deavy’s qualifications as an expert, asking if he had taken college courses on ballistics. Deavy said he had not, but when he graduated school, classes like that were not offered. He was ultimately admitted as an expert after a private conference with Judge Yolanda Curtin.
Assistant Medical Examiner for the State of Maryland Stephanie Dean testified that those who died at Advanced Granite Solutions did so of shots to the head. Assistant State’s Attorney Cyndi Adkins introduced their autopsy photos into evidence and walked through each picture with Dean — despite repeated objections from the defense, which Curtin overruled.
The wounds to the deceased’s heads, Dean explained, suggesting the shots were taken at a close range. Several of the deceased also had abrasions and contusions on their heads, possibly as a result of hitting the ground when they fell after being shot, Dean said. The phenomena is known as “terminal collapse,” she explained.
“Some of the contusions to the face could be consistent with that,” she said.
On cross-examination, Janowich noted that Dean was not drawing a legal conclusion and that she “was not aware of all the circumstances surrounding the incident.” Dean agreed that she was not.
At the end of Wednesday’s proceedings, Janowich motioned to dismiss the charges against Prince, which Curtin denied. Also at issue was redaction of a deposition of Prince’s girlfriend. Prosecutors asked her intimate questions about her personal journal, in which she wrote that Prince had hit her.
Defense Attorney Mary Pizzo argued that the state was trying to suggest Prince’s culpability for the killings because of another uncharged incident that his girlfriend penned in her journal. She said those passages of the deposition transcript were irrelevant to the charges at hand and “substantially prejudicial” to her client.
Doory argued that the passages spoke to the woman’s credibility, and the defense had opened the door to that in its opening statement where it mentioned Prince’s relationship with the woman. Doory said Prince declined to marry her, but she stayed with him.
“She says over and over and over again the defendant would not marry her,” Doory said. “This all goes to her credibility … the fact that she still loves him no matter what he does to her is fair cross-examination.”
Curtin saw the defense’s point of view and ordered that passage of the deposition to be redacted.